Redding Man Sentenced to Over 19 Years for Methamphetamine Trafficking
NOV 25 -- (Sacramento, CA) - United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Peña, announced today that JESUS VALENCIA ONTIVEROS, 24, of Redding, California was sentenced to 235 months in prison on convictions of conspiracy and possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. ONTIVEROS was one of seven defendants indicted in a case arising out of late night delivery of four pounds of methamphetamine to a Wal-Mart parking lot in Yuba City, California. ONTIVEROS entered a guilty plea earlier this year prior to the trial of some of his co-defendants, which lasted four weeks and concluded on June 10, 2008. He was sentenced by United States District Judge Frank C. Damrell, Jr..
This case was the product of a joint investigation by the DEA and Net-5, a drug task force made up of members from various law enforcement agencies in Yuba and Sutter counties.
According to Assistant United States Attorneys Philip Ferrari and Todd Pickles, who prosecuted the case, the evidence introduced at trial showed that beginning in December of 2006, the DEA used undercover techniques to negotiate the terms of an anticipated methamphetamine deal with an individual in Colusa, California. Those negotiations continued and ONTIVEROS emerged as a central figure in the effort to deliver a large amount of methamphetamine. The negotiations culminated on February 24, 2007, when ONTIVEROS and five others traveled from Corning to Yuba City to deliver approximately four pounds of methamphetamine. The six individuals, traveling in three cars, arrived at a Wal-Mart parking lot just before midnight. A co-defendant traveling in the same car as ONTIVEROS was in possession of a loaded .357 caliber handgun. Three other co-defendants, who were identified at trial as providing security for the deal, arrived in a pickup carrying an SKS military rifle and ammunition. After the methamphetamine was shown to a potential buyer, law enforcement moved in and made arrests.
Sentencing was presided over by Judge Damrell, who relied upon the quantity of drugs involved, the presence of firearms and the central role played by the defendant in arriving at the sentence imposed. Judge Damrell described the defendant as an “enthusiastic participant” whose “role was essential” to the completion of the deal. In commenting upon both the seriousness of the offense and the sentence being handed down, Judge Damrell called methamphetamine a “deadly drug” that “destroys lives left and right.”
Among the co-defendants previously sentenced, Jose Luis Villanueva Diaz received 135 months; Sabas Miramontes received 151 months; Margarito Ramirez Caballero received 292 months; and Ricardo Diaz received 295 months.