FRESNO, CA — Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that today a grand jury returned a three-count indictment against Cesar Galvan Cortes, 39, of Tulare County; and Hector Mariscal, 45, and Jose Luis Esparza, 35, both of Modesto, charging them with distributing methamphetamine and possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
According to court documents, on September 6, 2011, the three defendants sold approximately five pounds of methamphetamine. Cortes is also charged with distributing a smaller amount of methamphetamine on July 8, 2011.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly A. Sanchez is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, the defendants face a 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentence, a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10 million fine. 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.