News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2009
Contact: Casey McEnry
Number: 415-436-7994

Last Three Defendants in Large West Coast Methamphetamine
Ring Plead Guilty

DEC 10 -- SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and DEA San Francisco Field Division Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams, announced today that ABRAHAM BARRAGAN-ZEPEDA, 48, of Shasta Lake, Calif.; FERNANDO BARRAGAN-ZEPEDA, 34, of Aberdeen, Wash.; and RIGOBERTO GARFIAS-BARRAGAN, 37, of Shasta Lake, Calif., all pleaded guilty on Monday, December 7, 2009 before United States District Judge Benjamin H. Settle in the Western District of Washington to various charges, including conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, illegal use of a communication facility, and possession of firearms by an illegal alien. They are the last of 26 defendants to plead guilty.

This case is the product of an extensive, joint investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in California, Oregon, and Washington.

According to the Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew H. Thomas and Ye-Ting Woo from the Western District of Washington and Michael M. Beckwith from the Eastern District of California, who are prosecuting the case, the BARRAGAN family ran a long-term methamphetamine distribution operation. They brought hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine from Artega, Mexico, through California to Western Washington. They regularly used the home of RIGOBERTO GARFIAS-BARRAGAN in Northern California as a “stash house” for drugs.

The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Settle on March 8, 2010, at 1:30 p.m. They face a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison, a $2,000,000 fine, and a four-year-to-life term of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. The maximum statutory penalty for the illegal use of a communication facility is four years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a one-year term of supervised release for each count. Possession of firearms by an illegal alien carries the maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a three-year term of supervised release.

The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables and any applicable statutory sentencing factors. 

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