Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

December 21, 2017

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7994

Chico Couple Indicted For Trafficking Methamphetamine In Butte And Shasta Counties

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment today against Curtis Dale Sawyer, 52, and Ann Marie Vance, 49, both of Chico, charging them with conspiring to possess and possessing methamphetamine for distribution, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge John J. Martin announced. Vance was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, on December 7, officers stopped Sawyer while he was driving northbound on Interstate 5 in Shasta County. After a narcotics canine alerted to the car, agents searched the vehicle and found over three pounds of methamphetamine. Afterwards, law enforcement officers searched the Chico home that Sawyer shared with Vance, where they found more methamphetamine and $106,634 in cash. Officers found another 8.3 pounds of methamphetamine in a car Vance was driving near the home, and a subsequent search of a storage unit connected to Vance uncovered additional methamphetamine, cash, and five firearms. Vance is prohibited by law from possessing firearms.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Shasta Interagency Narcotics Task Force, the Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy H. Delgado is prosecuting the case.

If convicted of the most significant drug charges, Sawyer and Vance each face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. If convicted of the firearm charge, Vance faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 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 several variables. These charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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