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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

Friday, September 7, 2012

California Man Sentenced For Conspiring To Distribute Methamphetamine In Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS—Yesterday in federal court, the last of three California men involved in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in the Twin Cities in early 2010 was sentenced. United States District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery ordered Brandon Sanchez Gonzalez, age 21, of San Diego, California, to spend the next 72 months in federal prison, after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Gonzalez entered his plea on April 26, 2010. He was indicted on March 18, 2010.

In his plea agreement, Gonzalez admitted that from January 1, 2010, to February 27, 2010, he conspired to distribute approximately five pounds of methamphetamine. He transported the drugs from California to Minnesota in a vehicle in which family members, including two of his children, were passengers.
After entering his guilty plea in 2010, Gonzalez violated his pretrial release when he left the halfway house where he had been ordered to stay. He fled to Mexico, where he reunited with his children and other family members. Gonzalez later turned himself into the U.S. Border Patrol and was detained in the Southern District of California on October 4, 2011.

Co-defendant Cesar Ernesto Rivas, age 43, of Sacramento, California, pleaded guilty on October 12, 2010, to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Co-defendant Phonesy Sydathong, age 44, of Sacramento, California, pleaded guilty on April 19, 2010, to the same charge. On January 31, 2011, Judge Montgomery sentenced Rivas to 130 months in federal prison, and on November 19, 2010, she sentenced Sydathong to 65 months.

This case was the result of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the Minnesota State Patrol. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christian S. Wilton and Allen A. Slaughter. To learn more about the harmful effects of methamphetamine, visit



Updated April 30, 2015