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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 24, 2014

Southern California Man Sentenced To 15 Years For Methamphetamine And Gun Crimes

OAKLAND – Timathe Richard Soto was sentenced yesterday to 15 years in prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Nick Annan, Acting Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in San Francisco.

Soto pleaded guilty on May 7, 2014, to violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(viii); 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(i); and 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). According to the plea agreement, Soto admitted that on March 1, 2013, he was pulled over off of I-580 in Oakland, and during a search of the vehicle, California Highway Patrol Officers discovered about three-quarters of a pound of methamphetamine and a Springfield Armory XD 9mm pistol, loaded with 9mm ammunition. Soto had been traveling from Orange County to Ukiah with the intent to distribute the methamphetamine to individuals in Ukiah in exchange for marijuana. Soto possessed the firearm and ammunition in order to protect the drugs and drug proceeds. Soto had previously been convicted of several crimes punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year and was on Post-Release Community Supervision after having been released from state prison in 2012 for assault with a deadly weapon. Soto is a career offender under the federal Sentencing Guidelines, having previously committed more than two controlled substance offenses and crimes of violence.

Soto, age 51, of Orange County, was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 18, 2013.

The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Phyllis J. Hamilton, United States District Court Judge, following a guilty plea to all three counts in the Indictment. Judge Hamilton also sentenced the defendant to a five year period of supervised release. The defendant has been in continuous custody since his arrest.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and California Highway Patrol.

(Soto indictment )