Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

August 08, 2013

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7994

Ventura County Men Charged With Trafficking Meth In Kern County

FRESNO, Calif. - A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment today charging Fillmore residents Ruben Avila-Angulo, 40, and Antonio Barocio-Valencia, 60, with conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, Acting Special Agent in Charge Bruce C. Balzano and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, in July 2013, law enforcement received information about a drug courier who was bringing methamphetamine out of Mexico and into California and other states. On July 19, 2013, agents had the informant buy one pound of methamphetamine for $7,500 from Avila-Angulo, the alleged courier.

According to the criminal complaint, Avila-Angulo contacted the informant to sell more methamphetamine. On July 29, 2013, Avila-Angulo and Barocio-Valencia brought approximately five pounds of methamphetamine to Lebec intending to sell it to the informant. They met with the informant in a restaurant parking lot and showed the methamphetamine that was hidden inside a spare tire. After a CHP car pulled into the parking lot, the defendants told the informant that they planned to walk away and abandon the car and the methamphetamine. They were arrested nearby moments later.

This case is the product of a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Fresno Sheriff’s Department and the Kings County Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from the California Highway Patrol. Assistant United States Attorney Laurel J. Montoya is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, the defendants face 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; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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