United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
16 Pounds of Methamphetamine Seized at Visalia Residence
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Thursday, September 19, 2013
FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment today, charging Julio Rivera, 36, of Visalia, with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, an investigation into Rivera as a methamphetamine supplier in Tulare County ended with a search or his residence on September 6, 2013. During the search, 16 pounds of methamphetamine and $84,777 in cash was found, some hidden in a natural void in the internal side panels of a vehicle in Rivera’s garage.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Visalia Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Frye and Brian Enos are prosecuting the case.
Rivera is expected to be arraigned on the indictment Friday, September 20, 2013, in the United States District Court in Fresno.
If convicted, Rivera faces a maximum sentence 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; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.