United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Traffic Stops in San Joaquin, Shasta, and Nevada Counties Lead to Federal Narcotic Trafficking Charges
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Thursday, December 6, 2012
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Five defendants have been charged in three separate cases with narcotic trafficking, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced.
A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment Wednesday charging Enrique Amezcua, 25, and Michael Anthony Robles, 23, both of Stockton, with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Stockton police officers arrested the defendants on November 24, 2012, after they fled from an attempted traffic stop. At the time of the arrest, the defendants were in possession of a digital scale, packaging materials, and approximately 446 grams of methamphetamine. Amezcua is currently in custody in San Joaquin County. Robles was previously released from state custody on bail. This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Stockton Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Justin Lee is prosecuting the case.
Arturo Gonzalez-Moran, 41, and Gilberto Lorenzo Luvio, 45, both of Portland, were stopped on Interstate 5 north of Redding by Shasta County Sheriff’s deputies for a traffic violation. One of the deputies had his narcotic detection canine with him during this traffic stop. The dog examined the exterior of the vehicle and alerted on the gas tank. Twenty-seven plastic bags containing approximately 15 kilograms of heroin were removed from the gas tank. A federal grand jury charged them today with passion with intent to distribute heroin. They are scheduled for arraignment on Friday, December 7, 2012 in Sacramento. This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Michael McCoy is prosecuting the case.
Brenden Barker, 32, of Grass Valley, was stopped August 24, 2011 by California Highway Patrol officers who were responding to a report of someone throwing things out of a vehicle. After speaking with the officers, Barker got back in his car and fled. He was seen throwing two bags out of the window, which were later identified as approximately 600 grams of 3, 4 – methylenedioxymethaphetamine (MDMA), more commonly called “Ecstasy,” and more than one gram of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Barker was charged with drug trafficking by a grand jury today in a two-count indictment. He is scheduled to appear for arraignment on January 11, 2013. This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the California Highway Patrol. Assistant United States Attorney Todd Pickles is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Robles and Amezcua face a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. Gonzalez-Moran and Luvio face a sentence of 10 years to life in prison and a $20 million fine. Barker faces a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine. Any sentence, however, would 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 defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.