SACRAMENTO, CA -- Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that United States District Judge Edward J. Garcia sentenced Hector Ojeda Barraza, 30, of Stockton, today to 18 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the San Joaquin County Metro Task Force. Assistant United States Attorneys Richard J. Bender and Jill Thomas prosecuted the case.
According to court documents, the 12-month investigation involved multiple court-authorized wiretaps, surveillance, and search warrants. Agents seized approximately $60,000 in cash, 11 kilograms of cocaine, five pounds of methamphetamine, and multiple firearms. Ten defendants were arrested, charged, and convicted of various drug or drug-related charges.
Ojeda Barraza entered guilty pleas to various drug charges as did five other co-defendants. The remaining four defendants went to trial in November 2010 and were found guilty by the jury of all the charges against them. According to evidence presented at trial, the defendants kept detailed notebooks that indicated that the group had collected over $5 million in cash from the sale of drugs between August 2007 and November 2008. Three SUV engine radiators, which had been hollowed out and used to transport cocaine and methamphetamine, were seized during the investigation and presented as evidence at trial. Trial testimony also established that the group distributed methamphetamine and cocaine to Stockton and Sacramento Kansas City, Portland, and Seattle.
The sentences for the defendants are as follows:
Hector Ojeda Barraza -18 years
Jose Gonzalez Arias-20 years, (prior drug felony conviction)
Jesus Alfonzo Barraza Barraza -12.5 years
Orlando Israel Lopez1 -12 years
Jose Antonio Ojeda Cabada -10 years
Victor Martinez -10 years
Ricardo Andrade -8 years
Rene Diaz Carranza -6 years, 3 months
Rosario Francisco Barraza -5 years, 8 months
Manuel Francisco Barraza -3 years
All of the defendants who received sentences of 10 years or more also received a 60 month term of supervised release (TSR) to commence on their release from prison. The other defendants received smaller TSRs. Manuel Barraza Barraza (a co-leader and cousin of Hector Ojeda Barraza) and Ismael Quintero Guzman (formerly from Los Angeles) are fugitives and are believed to be in Mexico.
In a related case, United States v. Salazar Lopez, Cr. S 08-0561, which was part of the same investigation, 11 additional defendants were also charged. Eight of those defendants have entered guilty pleas to drug or drug related charges and been sentenced. Three defendants are fugitives.
1 Lopez pleaded guilty to charges in the related criminal case, Cr. S 08-0561-EJG. He agreed to a 12-year sentence in return for a dismissal of charges in the Barraza case, Cr. S 08-0562. Lopez was the sole defendant charged in both of the cases.