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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 10, 2022

Riverside Woman Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison for Possessing and Intending to Sell More Than 1½ Pounds of Meth

          LOS ANGELES – A Riverside woman with a lengthy criminal history, including a prior drug trafficking conviction for selling methamphetamine, was sentenced today to 132 months in federal prison for several incidents in which she possessed or sold a total of more than 1.5 pounds of methamphetamine, twice in the presence of two minor girls.

          Charlene Nicole Simmons, 41, was sentenced by United States District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez, who remarked at today’s court hearing that the seriousness of her offense was “affected by the presence of minors.”

          Simmons pleaded guilty in October 2021 to one count of distribution of methamphetamine.

          In May 2018 in Riverside County, Simmons was driving a car and was pulled over by law enforcement. During a search of her car – in which a minor was present – law enforcement seized 113 grams (0.25 pounds) of methamphetamine. In March 2019 in Riverside County, Simmons sold 6.14 grams of methamphetamine to a buyer for $650. Later that same day, Simmons sold the buyer 450.42 grams (nearly one pound) of methamphetamine for $1,460.

          In May 2019, Simmons possessed with intent to distribute 132.87 grams (0.3 pounds) of methamphetamine in a backpack when she – along with two minor girls in her car – was pulled over by law enforcement.

          Simmons possessed a total of 702.53 grams (1.6 pounds) of methamphetamine.

          “During the times that [Simmons] possessed with intent to distribute methamphetamine, she brought minor girls with her and at least once directed one of the minors to conceal [Simmons’] crime,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum, which describes her as “a recidivist now 10-time-felon with over two decades of criminal history.”

          Prior to this case, Simmons had nine felony convictions and five misdemeanor convictions between 1999 and 2011, including a felony drug trafficking conviction for selling methamphetamine, according to court documents.

          “Further, she did not just sell methamphetamine, she also sold a firearm…during a drug deal,” prosecutors said in court documents.

          The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Riverside Police Department, and the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office investigated this matter.

          Assistant United States Attorney Eli A. Alcaraz of the Riverside Branch Office prosecuted this case.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Contact: 
Ciaran McEvoy Public Information Officer ciaran.mcevoy@usdoj.gov (213) 894-4465
Press Release Number: 
22-114
Updated June 10, 2022