United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Hawaii-Bound Methamphetamine Trafficker Caught by TSA
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Thursday, February 21, 2013
FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned an indictment on Thursday, charging Oscar Rodriguez, 29, with possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Modesto Police Department, and the Transportation Security Administration. Assistant United States Attorneys Kimberly Sanchez and Michael Frye are prosecuting the case.
According to court documents, on January 31, 2013, TSA contacted Rodriguez at the Modesto Airport after his baggage tested positive for the presence of trace explosives. As the result of a pat-down search officers discovered two zip-lock baggies containing methamphetamine. The combined weight of the packaging materials and methamphetamine was 2.68 pounds. Rodriguez was carrying boarding passes for flights from Modesto to San Francisco and from San Francisco to Maui, Hawaii.
Rodriguez is scheduled to be arraigned before Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe on February 28, 2013.
If convicted, Rodriquez faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $20 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.