News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Casey McEnry
Number: 415-436-7994

12 Indicted in Stockton Methamphetamine Trafficking Ring

APR 30 -- SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that a federal grand jury returned a 21-count indictment charging 12 defendants with seven counts arising from a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy, and 15 counts of illegal use of a communication facility. The defendants are as follows:

Miguel C. Huitron, 39, of Stockton;
Ignacio Hernandez, 43, of Stockton;
Alejandro C. Romero, 40, of Stockton;
Jairo Zapien, 25, of Stockton;
Fernando Madrigal, 23, of Stockton;
Rafael Juarbe, 28, of San Jose;
Cerjio Zepeda, 47, of Sacramento;
Michelle Lucero, 45, of Stockton;
Mario Nunez Sr., 48, of Stockton;
Juan Lopez, 34, of Stockton;
Justin Haynes, 35, of Stockton; and
David Hernandez, 35, of Stockton.

All defendants are in custody except for Huitron and Lucero. Huitron is a fugitive, believed to be in Mexico. Lucero is out on bond.

This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Stockton Police Department, the Stockton METRO Drug Task Force, the California Highway Patrol, the West El Dorado Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Sacramento Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Heiko P. Coppola and Mary Grad are prosecuting the case.

The indictment alleges that Huitron, Ignacio Hernandez, Romero, Zapien, Madrigal, Zepeda, and David Hernandez engaged in a conspiracy to distribute at least 50 grams of methamphetamine. The indictment also alleges that Huitron, Ignacio Hernandez, Madrigal and Zapien distributed at least 50 grams of methamphetamine on each of multiple occasions. Romero, Juarbe and Nunez are alleged to have possessed methamphetamine in varying amounts, with the intent to distribute. Lucero, Nunez, Sr., Lopez, and Haynes are alleged to have used a telephone on several occasions to facilitate the distribution of methamphetamine. Law enforcement officers seized multiple pounds of methamphetamine during the course of this investigation.

U.S. Attorney Wagner stated, “Those who sell methamphetamine seek to make a profit for themselves with no regard to the high price this highly addictive drug extracts from the community. Today’s indictment is the result of the law enforcement community joining forces to fight this menace.”

If convicted of the conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, the defendants face a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum term of life in prison. The maximum penalty for using a communication facility is four years in prison. The actual sentence, however, will 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 and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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