News Release
March 26, 2012
Contact: DEA Public Affairs
Number: 415-436-7994

Operation Trident: More Than Eight Years for Transporting and
Distributing Crystal Meth

March 26 (Fresno, CA) — Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Eduardo Vargas-Cortes, 25, formerly of San Jose, was sentenced today to eight years and one month for possessing with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine.

According to court documents, in July 2010, Vargas-Cortes was stopped for a traffic violation in Fresno County. Three pounds of crystal methamphetamine intended for distribution was found hidden in a secret compartment in the 2008 Dodge Ram pickup that Vargas-Cortes was driving. The pickup was registered to another person and has already been ordered forfeited by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Vargas-Cortes is subject to deportation to Mexico upon completion of his federal sentence.

The case is the product of an investigation conducted under the umbrella of Operation Trident by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. Operation Trident was a multi-agency marijuana enforcement effort in Madera, Fresno, and Tulare Counties in 2009 and 2010. 

Operation Trident resulted in the eradication of approximately 663,898 marijuana plants primarily from public lands in the Sierra Nevada mountains and foothills in the Eastern District of California.  This case brings the total number of federal convictions in connection with Operation Trident to 74.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen A. Escobar prosecuted the case.