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Bakersfield Resident Sentenced to Four-Year Prison Term for Coastal Marijuana Cultivation Operation

FEB 25 (FRESNO, Calif.) — United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neil sentenced Alejandro Uriostegui Rodriguez, aka Jose Salgado Valladares, aka Guerrero, aka Alejandro Basave Uriostegui , 40, an undocumented alien from Guerrero, Mexico, today to four years in federal prison for conspiring to cultivate, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Special Agent in Charge Bruce C. Balzano and U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

Uriostegui pleaded guilty plea last December to growing marijuana in the Lompoc area for distribution from his residence in Bakersfield. According to court documents, in March 2010, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s narcotics detectives seized 600 pounds of processed marijuana from three vehicles they had seen leaving a marijuana grow site in the Lompoc area. Uriostegui was later linked to the marijuana seizure during the execution of a federal search warrant at his residence in Bakersfield. At that time, DEA agents found nearly 50 pounds of marijuana in an ice chest in Uriostegui’s bedroom and a small quantity of marijuana in his Corvette. Uriostegui admitted that the marijuana came from the Lompoc and that all 650 pounds of marijuana belonged to him and was intended for distribution from Bakersfield.

This case is the product of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) wiretap investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the United States Forest Service, Southern Tri-County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, Kern County Sheriff’s Office, and Bakersfield Police Department. The OCDETF Program was established in 1982 to mount a comprehensive attack against organized drug traffickers.

Today, the OCDETF Program is the centerpiece of the United States Attorney General's drug strategy to reduce the availability of drugs by disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations and money laundering organizations and related criminal enterprises. Uriostegui is the eighth individual to be prosecuted at the federal level as a result of this OCDETF investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen A. Escobar prosecuted the case.


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