FRESNO, CA — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams, and Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims announced that Javier Lopez-Estrada, aka Jose Esquivel Torres, age 27, of Michoacán, Mexico, was sentenced today to 12 years and three months in prison for conspiring to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine. Lopez-Estrada also faces deportation to Mexico upon completion of his prison term.
Lopez-Estrada pleaded guilty plea on March 25, 2011, admitting that he had brought 4.5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine to a drug deal in Fowler, which led to the arrests of four others and the seizure of 7.5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, one assault weapon, two semi-automatic handguns, and 32 rounds of ammunition. According to court documents, the drugs had been smuggled into the United States from Mexico.
The other defendants have already been sentenced: Mario Penaloza, age 23, formerly of Orange Cove, was sentenced to 12 years and three months in prison; Jesus Bucio-Mendoza, aka Miguel Mendoza Alvarez, age 27, formerly of Fresno, was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison; Armando Toledo, aka Ernesto Gonzalez-Garcia, age 27, formerly of San Fernando, was sentenced to five years in prison; and Mario Martinez-Botello, age 32, formerly of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced to four years in prison.
This case is the product of an investigation conducted by the DEA and Fresno County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Karen A. Escobar prosecuted the case.