News Release
January 23, 2009
Contact: Gordon Taylor
Number: 916-480-7200

Two Fresno Drug Traffickers Indicted
Drug Agent Injured During Arrest

JAN 23 -- FRESNO, Calif.—Acting United States Attorney Lawrence G. Brown announced today that a federal grand jury sitting in Fresno returned an indictment against AMADO MALDONADO, aka MARCOS CHAVEZ, 27, and RICHARD CAMPOS GUIZAR, 21, both of San Jose, Calif., charging them with participating in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine and possessing with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine. MALDONADO was also charged with being an illegal alien previously deported or removed from the United States after his conviction in Santa Clara County in 2005 for a felony drug trafficking offense.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with assistance from the Fresno Police Department.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Karen A. Escobar, who is prosecuting the case, the DEA conducted an undercover drug deal at Olive Avenue and Highway 99. After MALDONADO negotiated for the delivery of crystal methamphetamine at that location, MALDONADO and CAMPOS brought approximately five pounds of crystal methamphetamine—worth about $90,000. Agents located a loaded semiautomatic pistol under the driver’s seat where CAMPOS had been sitting. When an arrest signal was given, MALDONADO ran northbound, jumped several fences, and fled toward the freeway. During the pursuit of MALDONADO, a federal drug agent was seriously injured when one of the fences collapsed beneath him. The injured agent required surgery and is not expected to return to active duty for several months.

Both MALDONADO and CAMPOS were ordered detained by U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis L. Beck. They are scheduled to appear again before Magistrate Judge Beck on January 30 for arraignment on the indictment.

If convicted of the drug conspiracy charges, CAMPOS faces a sentence of 10 years to life in prison and a fine of $4,000,000. MALDONADO faces a sentence of 20 years to life in prison and a fine of $8,000,000 due to his prior felony drug conviction. MALDONADO also faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for the immigration offense. The actual sentences, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables and any applicable statutory sentencing factors.

The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.