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Redding Traffic Stop Results in Heroin Trafficking Charge for Father and Son

JAN 31 (SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — A federal grand jury returned a single count indictment today, charging Benjamin Soto, 37, and Joaquin Soto, 18, both of San Jose, with possession with the intent to distribute heroin, Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Special Agent in Charge Bruce C. Balzano and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, on January 10, 2013, on I5 north of Redding, officers stopped a vehicle whose driver appeared to be either sleepy or impaired. A search of the defendants’ vehicle, uncovered approximately five kilos of heroin.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the California Highway Patrol, and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Olusere Olowoyeye is prosecuting the case.

The defendants are in custody and are scheduled to be arraigned on February 7, 2013. They face a sentence of 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine. Any sentence, however, would 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.

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