July 10, 2013
Contact: Erica C. Curry
Phone Number: (602) 664-5600
San Luis Methamphetamine Trafficker Sentenced To 20 Years
PHOENIX - On July 8, 2013, Indalecio Castro-Ponce, 40, of San Luis, Ariz. was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Susan R. Boltonto 240 months imprisonment and a $3,000 fine. Castro-Ponce was found guilty by a federal jury on April 12, 2013, of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine
“Methamphetamine is a destructive poison that can cause terrible harm to the quality of life in our communities,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. The sentencing marks the final blow to the head of a malicious drug trafficking organization who involved his minor children in his illegal activities. Let this be a loud and clear message to any and all remaining drug dealers: you will be identified, you will be investigated and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“We place a very high priority on the prosecution of those like Castro-Ponce who cause the ruin of so many lives by spreading the poison of methamphetamine in our communities,” said U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo. “We will continue to do all that we can to hold such people accountable for their actions.”
“I commend the dedicated investigative work of HSI special agents and our law enforcement partners in Arizona and across the Western U.S.,” said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of ICE Homeland Security (HSI) Arizona. “Thanks to their efforts, this meth trafficker will spend 20 years in federal prison. This strong sentence should serve as a deterrent to those who would seek to profit by bringing dangerous, highly-addictive drugs into our neighborhoods.”
The evidence at trial showed that Castro-Ponce conspired with others, including his wife and teenaged son, to distribute methamphetamine on more than 20 occasions to various locations in the Southwestern United States, including Salt Lake City, Utah; Las Vegas, Nev.; Fresno, Calif.; Sunland, Calif.; and Moreno Valley, Calif. Following visits by Castro-Ponce, law enforcement seized more than three pounds of 96% pure “ice” methamphetamine from a location in Fresno, Calif., and more than seven pounds of methamphetamine from a location in Moreno Valley, Calif., along with more than $200,000 cash. Castro-Ponce, a first-time offender, received sentencing enhancements for having involved his minor children in his drug trafficking activities, being a leader and organizer of a drug trafficking organization, and obstructing justice by committing perjury under oath at trial.
The investigation in this case was conducted by U.S. Customs and (ICE) Homeland Security (HSI) 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.