Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

November 26, 2012

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7900

Mexican National Pleads Guilty To Marijuana Conspiracy In Bakersfield

FRESNO, Calif. - Alejandro Uriostegui-Rodriguez, aka Jose Salgado Valladares, aka Guerrero, 40, an undocumented alien from Guerrero, Mexico, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to cultivate, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute marijuana grown in Santa Barbara County for distribution from his residence in Bakersfield, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, in March 2010, Santa Barbara County Sheriff narcotics detectives seized 600 pounds of processed marijuana from three vehicles they had seen leaving a marijuana grow site in the Lompoc area. Uriostegui was later linked to the marijuana seizure during the execution of a federal search warrant at his residence in Bakersfield. At that time, DEA agents found nearly 50 pounds of marijuana in an ice chest in Uriostegui’s bedroom and a small quantity of marijuana in his Corvette. Uriostegui admitted that the marijuana found at his residence came from the Lompoc area, where the 600 pounds was seized. All of the marijuana belonged to him and was intended for distribution from Bakersfield.

Uriostegui is scheduled for sentencing on February 19, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum sentence of 40 years and a $5 million fine. 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. Upon completion of his prison sentence, Uriostegui is subject to deportation to Mexico.

This case is the product of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF) investigation conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’(ICE) Homeland Security (HSI) with assistance from the United States Forest Service, the Southern Tri-County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, Kern County Sheriff’s Office, and Bakersfield Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen A. Escobar is prosecuting the case.
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