Visalia Meth Supplier Sentenced to Nearly 13 Years
MAY 04 -- FRESNO, Calif.—United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams, announced today that Senior United States District Judge Oliver W. Wanger sentenced Abel Remigio-Onofre, 50, of Visalia, to 12 years and seven months in prison for attempting to distribute one pound of crystal methamphetamine to a DEA undercover agent.
According to court documents, Remigio-Onofre was a methamphetamine supplier for Eustorgio Flores, 50, of Tulare, who was recently convicted by a federal jury in Fresno of a drug trafficking conspiracy in which eight defendants, led by Flores, would send large quantities of high purity crystal methamphetamine and cocaine by commercial airlines for distribution in Maui. Over six pounds of crystal methamphetamine, 18 pounds of cocaine, and $114,000 in cash were seized in Maui, representing the largest drug seizure in Maui County (the islands of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai) history.
At sentencing, Remigio-Onofre argued for a sentence of less than 151 months, because he needed money to support his family. Senior U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger rejected this argument, stating “engaging in criminal activities to support the family” is not justified. Judge Wanger further noted that Remigio-Onofre had not been deterred from drug trafficking despite his prior involvement with the law, which includes three prior felony drug convictions, numerous prior deportations, and two prior convictions for unlawful entry into the United States. Remigio-Onofre, a native and citizen of Michoacan, Mexico, was not lawfully present in the United States during the drug transaction with the undercover drug agent.
This case is a product of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) effort. OCDETF is a focused interagency program investigating and prosecuting the most significant drug trafficking organizations throughout the United States by leveraging the combined expertise of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Members of the OCDETF task force in this case included the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Immigration and Custom Enforcement, Maui Police Department, and Tulare Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen A. Escobar and Deanna L. Martinez are prosecuting the case.
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