News Release
March 29, 2012
Contact: DEA Public Affairs
Number: 415-436-7994

Merced Woman Faces Charges for Drug Trafficking

MAR 29 - (Fresno, CA) — Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging Graciela Morales-Torres, 32, of Merced, with possessing methamphetamine and cocaine with intent to distribute.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Sanchez is prosecuting the case.

According to court documents, on March 13, 2012, Morales-Torres was stopped by a Fresno County Sheriff’s deputy for an expired registration on the car she was driving. Because of a strong smell of marijuana, he asked to search the car, and Morales-Torres gave permission. The deputy found a small amount of marijuana, and in a hidden compartment he found about 10 pounds of methamphetamine and two large bricks of cocaine.

The maximum statutory penalty for the charge is life in prison and a $10 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

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