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Man Who Participated in Conspiracy to Deliver 2 Kilos of Methamphetamine to Las Vegas Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2011

Las Vegas, Nev. – A California man who was involved in a conspiracy to transport over two kilos (4.4 pounds) of pure methamphetamine from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in June 2009, has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison, announced Daniel G. Bogden, U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Juan Rodriguez, 70, of Covina, California, was sentenced on Thursday, April 14, 2011, by U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan, to 248 months in prison, five years of supervised release and denied federal benefits for five years. Rodriguez was convicted by a jury on December 9, 2010, of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, carrying a firearm in the commission of a drug trafficking crime, and felon in possession of a firearm. Rodriguez had previously been convicted in federal court in Fresno, California, of transporting illegal aliens, and also had state court convictions in California for driving while intoxicated and carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle.

In June 2009, DEA agents received information that an individual, later identified as a co-defendant in the case, was willing to transport multi-pound quantities of methamphetamine from California to Las Vegas in order to sell it for $20,000 per pound. DEA agents made arrangements through a cooperating individual for the co-defendant to deliver two kilograms of methamphetamine to Las Vegas. On June 18, 2009, Rodriguez and four co-defendants were arrested near Primm, Nevada, as they traveled closely together in several vehicles on Interstate 15 toward Las Vegas. Rodriguez, who was driving a Toyota Tundra truck behind the other two vehicles, tried to flee from authorities when he saw the other two vehicles pulled over, driving at speeds of over 90 miles per hour. Phone records demonstrated that Rodriguez was attempting to contact the co-defendants during the time he was fleeing. Rodriguez eventually pulled over, and when law enforcement authorities approached his vehicle, they found a loaded, cocked semi-automatic pistol on the passenger-side floor of the truck, and 46 additional rounds of ammunition in the cab of the truck. Approximately 2.2 kilograms of methamphetamine with a 91 percent purity level was recovered from the vehicle that traveled between the lead vehicle and the truck Rodriguez was driving.

The four co-defendants were also convicted and sentenced. Jose Luis Rubio-Rodriguez, 38, of Palo Alto, California, and Adrian Fuentes-Garcia, 37, of Los Angeles, California, were each sentenced to 11 years in prison; Alfonso Rivera-Avalos, 47, of Montebello, California, was sentenced to 15.5 years in prison; and Adelina Arias, 53, of Baldwin Park, California, was sentenced to four years in prison.

The case was investigated by the DEA, ATF, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Nevada Department of Public Safety, and members of the Southern Nevada Joint Methamphetamine Task Force, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Bradley W. Giles and Adam Flake.

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