Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

October 30, 2012

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7900

California-Hawaii Methamphetamine Ring Busted


FRESNO, Calif. - An indictment was unsealed today following the arrests of two members of a methamphetamine ring that distributed the drug from the Central Valley to Honolulu, announced Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner.

On October 11, 2012, a grand jury in Fresno charged Miguel Angel Leontapia, 32, Eduardo Zazueta Garcia, 26, Armando Mendoza, 18, Gilberto Chavez Leon, 27, and Guillermo Paredes Jr., 23, in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. According to the indictment, between June 2012 and October 11, 2012, in Stanislaus and Merced Counties, and in the County of Honolulu, the defendants conspired with each other and others to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it.

Leontapia was arrested today at his home in Delhi in Merced County. Garcia was arrested at his home in Turlock in Stanislaus County. They were arraigned today and entered not guilty pleas. The other three defendants are thought to reside somewhere in Merced or Stanislaus Counties.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration in the Central Valley and Honolulu, the Stanislaus County Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Modesto Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Yasin Mohammad is prosecuting the case.

If convicted of the drug charges, the defendants each face 10 years to 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.

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