Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

December 03, 2012

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7994

Large Scale Methamphetamine Distributor In Stanislaus County Indicted

FRESNO, Calif. - Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that a federal grand jury returned a two count indictment charging Juan Venegas, 40, of Newman, with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

The indictment alleges that since at least October 2011, Venegas has been involved in an ongoing conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine within the Eastern District of California and elsewhere. According to court documents, on November 14, 2012, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration served a search warrant at a suspected stash house in Newman and recovered more than 20 (50 lbs.) of methamphetamine along with a conversion laboratory for converting methamphetamine into crystal methamphetamine.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration operating under the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Elana S. Landau is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Venegas faces a statutory penalty 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 defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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