February 25, 2011
Contact: Casey Rettig
Phone Number: (415) 436-7900
Major Mexican Drug Trafficking Ring Broken Up
SACRAMENTO, CA - United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and Drug Enforcement (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams, announced that, following a lengthy investigation, Alejandro Fletes-Lopez, 28, of Acampo, and 12 others were indicted Thursday on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it, and the use of phones to facilitate the distribution of methamphetamine. As part of this investigation, the DEA and other state and federal agencies seized more than 90 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 30 kilograms of cocaine, and more than $1.1 million in cash.
According to court documents, Fletes-Lopez is alleged to have imported methamphetamine from Mexico and distributed it through a network of couriers to numerous states including Iowa, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, Minnesota, Oregon, and California. The 12 others who were indicted with Fletes-Lopez are Irma Anacani Gonzalez, Jesus Humberto Lopez-Valenzuela, and Mauricio Carlos Portillo, all of Acampo; Orlando Fletes-Lopez, of Galt; German Gonzalez Velazquez, of Manteca; Marcela Santamaria, of Palmdale; Aurelio Lopez-Castro and Miguel Corona-Soria, both of Sacramento; Concepcion Carrillo, of Los Angeles; Guadalupe Reyes-Ontiveros, of Illinois; Diana Elizabeth Hernandez-Gonzalez, of North Hollywood; and Jesus Alberto Sanchez-Lopez, of Mexico.
Fletes-Lopez and nine of the co-defendants are in custody. Several defendants will be arraigned in Sacramento on Monday, February 28, 2011.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the DEA; the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department; U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE) Office of Homeland Security (HSI); the Central Valley HIDTA; Sacramento Police Department; California Department of (Cal-MMET); the San Joaquin County Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force; Elk Grove Police Department; San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department; Stockton Police Department; Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Galt Police Department; and the state Highway Patrols for California, Nevada, Minnesota, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Iowa. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael M. Beckwith and Paul Hemesath are prosecuting the case.
If convicted of the drug trafficking charges, the defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison, a $4 million fine, and a five-year-to-life term of supervised release for each count. The maximum sentence for the use of phones for drug trafficking is four years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a three-year term of supervised release. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing 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.