January 28, 2016
Contact: Casey Rettig
Phone Number: (415) 436-7900
Residents From Modesto And Southern California Indicted For Large-Scale Statewide Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
FRESNO, Calif. - A federal grand jury returned an 11-count indictment today against Antonio Castellanos, 32, of Whittier; Jose Reyes-Pineda, 43, of Anaheim; and Modesto residents Genaro Serrato-Calles, 45; Antonio Valencia-Hernandez, 60; Lorena Mariscal Velasquez, 46; Nora Lizbet Garcia, 29; and Melissa Velasquez, 25, charging them in a methamphetamine and heroin trafficking conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge John J. Martin announced.
According to court documents, between June 2014 and January 2016, the defendants conspired to distribute methamphetamine and heroin brought from Southern California to Stanislaus County. On April 8, 2015, agents seized six kilograms of methamphetamine obtained from Reyes-Pineda, transported by Valencia-Hernandez and Lorena Velasquez, and intended for Serrato-Calles. In addition, agents seized 16 kilograms of methamphetamine in June 15, 2015 that had been transported to Stanislaus County from Southern California as arranged by Castellanos and Serrato-Calles.
All defendants have been arrested. Castellanos, Reyes-Pineda, Lorena Velasquez, Melissa Velasquez, and Garcia have been ordered released pending trial. All defendants are scheduled to appear in court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone for arraignment on Friday, January 29, 2016.
If convicted, Castellanos, Serrato-Calles, and Valencia-Hernandez face a sentence of 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine. If convicted, the remaining defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 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.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency, the Central Valley HIDTA, the San Joaquin METRO Task Force, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Special Investigations Bureau. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen A. Servatius is prosecuting the case.
This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF). The OCDETF program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.