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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947
    thom.mrozek@usdoj.gov



    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index
    Release No. 09-040

    April 1 , 2009

    TWO COACHELLA VALLEY RESIDENTS ARRESTED AFTER AUTHORITIES FIND OVER 13 POUNDS OF METHAMPHETAMINE PACKAGED FOR SALE

    Two residents of the Coachella Valley were arrested yesterday on federal narcotics trafficking charges after a law enforcement task force searched a Palm Springs house and discovered 13.4 pounds of methamphetamine that had been packaged for sale.

    During the execution of a federal search warrant yesterday afternoon, investigators with the DEA Palm Springs Narcotics Task Force found methamphetamine throughout the residence, where they also discovered loaded weapons in a child’s playroom and under the mattress of a child’s bed.

    A federal criminal complaint filed this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles charges Jeremias Gutierrez-Bello, 40, of Palm Springs with possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

    Francisco Ozuna, also known as Chico, 32, of Desert Hot Springs was charged in a separate criminal complaint filed last week with distribution of methamphetamine. Court documents allege that Ozuna obtained his methamphetamine from the Palm Springs house where Gutierrez resided, where the cache of narcotics was found yesterday.

    Both Gutierrez and Ozuna were arrested yesterday afternoon, and both are expected to make their initial appearances in federal court in Los Angeles this afternoon.

    The affidavit in support of Gutierrez’s criminal complaint states that the methamphetamine was found in Gutierrez’s home. The narcotics were found spread throughout the residence, including in a room which had children's toys and belongings. In total, investigators seized approximately 6,096 grams of methamphetamine, most of which was packaged for sale in one-ounce bindles. Investigators also found a drug scale, plastic baggies, an estimated $180,000 in cash and four firearms. 

    A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court.

    The charges against both men carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

    The DEA Palm Springs Narcotics Task Force is comprised of agents and officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Indio Police Department, the Palm Springs Police Department, the Cathedral City Police Department and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

    Yesterday’s enforcement action was conducted by the DEA Palm Springs Narcotics Task Force, with assistance of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

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    Release No. 9-041
    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index