SACRAMENTO, CA — Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that a federal grand jury returned a single-count indictment today charging Manuel Humberto Lopez-Camacho, 36, and Ernesto Alonso Soto-Gonzalez, 23, both of Phoenix, with possessing heroin with the intent to distribute.
According to court documents, on March 31, 2011, Lopez-Camacho and Soto-Gonzalez were pulled over for speeding on I-5 near Redding. Soto-Gonzalez, the driver, had no driver’s license. Officers using a drug detection K-9 discovered more than nine pounds of heroin in a secret compartment in their SUV.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department, the California Multijurisdictional Methamphetamine Enforcement Team, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Daniel S. McConkie is prosecuting the case.
Both Lopez-Camacho and Soto-Gonzalez are in custody. They are scheduled to be arraigned on April 18, 2011 at 2:00 P.M. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman.
If convicted Lopez-Camacho and Soto-Gonzalez face a sentence of 10 years to life 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.