News Release
April 04, 2010
Contact: Casey McEnry
Number: 415-436-7994

Fresno Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

APR 04 -- FRESNO, Calif—United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams, announced that Senior United States District Judge Oliver W. Wanger sentenced Amado Maldonado, aka Marcos Chavez, 28, of Michoacan, Mexico, today to 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine, and 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 prosecuted the case, the DEA conducted an undercover drug transaction at Jensen Avenue and Highway 99 in Fresno after Maldonado negotiated for the delivery of crystal methamphetamine to that location.  Although Maldonado originally indicated he could supply 30 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, Maldonado and co-defendant Richard Campos Guizar, 23, of San Jose, ultimately brought approximately five pounds of crystal methamphetamine, worth about $90,000, and a loaded semi-automatic pistol to the deal. When an arrest signal was given, Maldonado ran northbound, jumped three fences, and was apprehended at the Jensen Avenue onramp to Highway 99. During the pursuit of Maldonado, a federal drug agent suffered serious and permanent injury to his knee when one of the fences collapsed beneath him. The injured agent required extensive surgery, was off work for several months, and requires another surgery in the future.

Claiming economic necessity, Maldonado argued for a 10-year sentence. Judge Wanger countered that harsh economic times do “not justify turning to crime.”

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