Supervisor of Bay Area Drug Trafficking
MAR 31 -- SAN FRANCISCO – Rafael Franco Perez was sentenced today to 25 years in prison and ordered to forfeit more than $390,000 to the United States for his role in a large-scale narcotics conspiracy, United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello announced.
On Sept. 17, 2009, Franco Perez pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute heroin and methamphetamine. In pleading guilty, Franco Perez admitted that between January 2008 and January 2009 he worked as a supervisor of a large-scale narcotics organization with significant ties to Mexico. In November of 2008, Franco Perez helped coordinate the shipment and delivery of more than six kilograms of methamphetamine that was smuggled from Mexico into the United States inside the transmission of a pickup truck. While the methamphetamine shipment was ultimately intended for distribution in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere in Northern California, it was seized on Nov. 17, 2008, in the vicinity of Los Banos, Calif., by officers and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the California Highway Patrol. Franco Perez also admitted to supplying 1.72 kilograms of heroin to multiple individuals during the conspiracy.
Franco Perez was one of eight individuals arrested on Feb. 4, 2009, following the execution of a series of arrest and search warrants across Northern California resulting from an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). To date, the OCDETF investigation has resulted in the seizure of six kilograms of methamphetamine, as well as more than one kilogram of heroin, more than $390,000 in cash drug proceeds, and multiple firearms.
The sentence, handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer, also included a five-year period of supervised release. Franco Perez will be deported to Mexico following his sentence.
Aaron Wegner and Waqar Hasib are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who prosecuted the case, with the assistance of Hui Chen and Jacquelyn Lovrin. The prosecution is the result an investigation led by agents of the ATF, together with agents of the DEA. The investigation was conducted and funded by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, a multi-agency task force that coordinates long-term narcotics trafficking investigations.
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