July 29, 2015
Contact: SA Debbie Webber
Phone Number: (504) 840-1100
Rogers Man Found Guilty On Four Counts Of Drug Trafficking
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Drug Enforcement (DEA) Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Downing and Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Juan Valenzuela, age 40, of Rogers, was found guilty on two counts of Conspiracy to Distribute/Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and two counts of Distribution/Possession with Intent to Distribute more than 50 grams of Methamphetamine following a two day jury trial.
“Methamphetamine is a destructive poison that can cause terrible harm to the quality of life in our communities,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Downing. “Side by side with our local law enforcement partners, DEA is holding meth dealers accountable. Together, we are putting dealers where they belong - behind bars. Let this guilty verdict 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,” said Downing.
U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “I want to thank the investigators that worked so hard on this case and the jurors that took time out of their busy lives to see that justice was served. Children in Benton County and across the Western District of Arkansas deserve to grow up in communities free from illegal drug trafficking and the violence and other crime that comes with it. With the defendant’s conviction, another positive step forward has been taken for the citizens of the Western District of Arkansas.”
According to evidence presented to the jury, during the course of an ongoing investigation, it was learned that Valenzuela was selling large quantities of suspected methamphetamine out of his Rogers residence. A federal search warrant was obtained and executed on May 25, 2015 at his home. At the time, the defendant stated that he did not know anything about meth and that there was no meth in his residence. A search of the residence revealed approximately 41 grams of suspected meth, marijuana, numerous small plastic baggies, and a piece of paper that appeared to be a ledger for drug debt owed to him. Valenzuela was arrested at the scene and booked into jail. Valenzuela was indicted by a federal grand jury June 3, 2015.
Sentencing will be announced at a later date. The defendant faces a maximum sentence on counts one and two of 20 years imprisonment, $1,000,000 fine, or both. He faces a maximum sentence on counts three and four of 10 years to life imprisonment, $10,000,000 fine or both. The sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal (if any), the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violations. The sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum for each count in this case, and in most cases will be less than the maximum.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.