News Release
Contact: Casey McEnry
Number: 415-436-7994

Bay Area Man Sentenced for His Role in Cocaine Conspiracy

JUN 16 -- SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that Jose Maria Meza-Portillo, 44, of Union City, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton to 19 years and seven months in prison for conspiring to distribute cocaine. He pleaded guilty on November 24, 2009.

According to court documents filed in the case, Meza-Portillo was involved in a large-scale conspiracy to distribute cocaine from Mexico to the Sacramento area. During the investigation, agents learned that Meza-Portillo was directing the payment of money from the sales of cocaine back to the suppliers in Mexico. On March 3, 2006, officers stopped a vehicle they believed was carrying money bound for Mexico and discovered almost $1 million in cash hidden inside.

Meza-Portillo is the latest of the co-conspirators to be sentenced in this case. Others include:

Luis Manuel Sanchez-Aceves, 29, of Richmond, who was sentenced on May 25, 2010 to 13 years in federal prison;

Cristobal Navarro, 46, of Richmond, who was sentenced on June 2, 2010 to 12 years and seven months in federal prison;

 Daniel Rosales, 26, of San Francisco, who was sentenced on September 29, 2009, to eight years in prison; and

Darius Louis, 38, of Richmond, who was sentenced on May 25, 2010, to four years in prison.

This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn K. Delaney.

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