News and Press Releases

Winnemucca Man Sentenced for Methamphetamine Distribution Operation and Bail Jumping

July 11, 2003

Reno, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, Tim Landrum, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for Nevada, Richard Winget, United States Marshal for the District of Nevada, Phil Brown, Acting Chief of the State of Nevada Division of Investigation, and Bob Davidson, Chief of the Winnemucca Police Department, announce that RENE BLANCO, age 26, of Winnemucca, Nevada, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge David W. Hagen to 162 months in prison for his March 2002 convictions on conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, and aiding and abetting. BLANCO was also sentenced to a consecutive term of six months in prison for the separate charge of failing to appear at an April 2002 bail review hearing, following which a warrant was issued for his arrest and he was declared a fugitive. BLANCO was apprehended in January 2003 in California following a pursuit by law enforcement authorities. He was returned to Reno and subsequently pleaded guilty to the bail jumping charge.

According to the court records, in an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation known as "Operation Whiteout", law enforcement investigators targeted a drug organization in rural northern Nevada. On September 28, 2001, at a motel in Winnemucca, RENE BLANCO and co-defendant Ediberto A. Alvarez negotiated the sale and distributed approximately 3/4 pound of methamphetamine to a DEA informant. Federal indictments were returned against the two on October 17, 2001, and following a three-day jury trial in Reno in March 2002, both were convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, and aiding and abetting. In June 2002, Alvarez-Farfan was sentenced to 151 months in federal prison.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the DEA, Deputies of the United States Marshals Service, investigators with the Nevada Division of Investigations, and local law enforcement in Winnemucca, Nevada. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Craig Denney.

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