April 19, 2013
Contact: Erica C. Curry
Phone Number: (602) 664-5600
Methamphetamine Transport Coordinator Found Guilty At Trial
PHOENIX - Drug Enforcement (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman and U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo, District of Arizona announced today, that Indalecio Castro-Ponce, 40, of San Luis, Ariz., was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, by a federal jury in Phoenix. The case was tried before U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton between April 4 and April 12, 2013. The defendant is being held after trial. Sentencing is set before Judge Bolton on July 8, 2013.
“Getting drug dealers off the street remains a priority of my office, said DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. “Today’s verdict further strengthens our commitment to ridding our communities of the devastating effects of drugs. These prosecutions are a direct result of the dedication and expertise of all the agencies involved.”
“This verdict sends the message that those who attempt to profit by distributing large amounts of methamphetamine will be prosecuted and subjected to very long terms of imprisonment,” said U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo.
The evidence at trial showed that Castro-Ponce conspired with others, including his wife and teenaged son, to distribute methamphetamine to various locations in the Southwestern United States, including Salt Lake City, Utah; Las Vegas, Nev.; Fresno, Calif.; Sunland, Calif.; and Moreno Valley, Calif. Castro-Ponce made more than 20 drug trafficking-related trips between February and July 2012, frequently taking his children and wife with him in order to attempt to disguise his activities. Following visits by Castro-Ponce, law enforcement seized more than three pounds of 96% pure “ice” methamphetamine from a location in Fresno, and more than seven pounds of methamphetamine from a location in Moreno Valley. Law enforcement agents also seized more than $200,000 cash from the same locations.
Convictions for conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute each carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, a $10,000,000 fine, or both.
The investigation in this case was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’(ICE) Homeland Security Investigations in Yuma, Ariz., with assistance from HSI-Fresno, HSI-Riverside County, HSI-Salt Lake City, HSI-Las Vegas, and HSI-Phoenix, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the LA-IMPACT Task Force, the INCA Task Force, and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution was handled by Krissa Lanham and William Bryan, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.