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Conspirators Indicted for Methamphetamine Trafficking

FRESNO, CA — Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that a federal grand jury returned Indictments today in two separate cases, charging distribution of methamphetamine and other controlled substances.

Jose Rios, Luis Cortez and Alfonso Estrada

In the first indictment, the grand jury charged Jose Rios, a.k.a. “Pitino,” 31, of Riverbank, Calif., Luis Cortez a.k.a. “PeeWee,” 26, of Waterford, Calif., and Alfonso Estrada, a.k.a. “Armando,” 36, of Ceres, Calif. with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and other controlled substances. According to court documents, Rios supplied methamphetamine to Cortez, who supplied it to Estrada, who in turn sold it on the wholesale market. When arrested, Rios was found living in an upscale residence with $45,000 cash hidden in the house.

Victor Torres and Fernando Quintero

In the second indictment, the grand jury charged Victor Torres, 37, of Fresno, Calif., and Fernando Quintero, a.k.a. “Joyas,” 32, of Clovis, Calif. with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. According to court documents, Torres was involved in trafficking methamphetamine and Quintero was one of his sources of supply.

These cases are the product of a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, the Fresno Sheriff’s Office, the Fresno Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol. Assistant United States Attorney Yasin Mohammad is prosecuting the two cases.

If convicted of the drug charges, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years and a maximum term of life imprisonment, along with 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.


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