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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 8, 2019

Bakersfield Man Charged with Shipping Heroin, Methamphetamine, Fentanyl, and Cocaine

Another Bakersfield Man Pleads Guilty to the Same Offense

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment on Thursday, April 4, 2019, against Jose Luis Rivas Jr., 26, of Bakersfield, charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, between June 2016 and May 2018, Rivas conspired with another Bakersfield man, Juan Pina, 23, to use a national parcel service company to ship packages of narcotics to various distributors around the country. Records filed with the court indicate that Rivas and Pina made kilogram-quantity shipments of controlled substances on several occasions.

On May 3, 2018, search warrants were executed for Pina’s residence and vehicle. Pina was arrested while driving his vehicle and in the back seat was a three-foot-long rectangular box, similar in size to the earlier shipments. The package was searched and found to contain approximately 700 grams of cocaine. In a search of Pina’s home, agents recovered over 2 pounds of heroin, over 2 pounds of cocaine, approximately 70 grams of methamphetamine as well as a loaded handgun and three long guns all found within close proximity to the drugs.

On March 27, 2019, when search warrants were executed for Rivas’s residence, agents recovered 12 cellphones and arrested Rivas.

On April 8, 2019, Juan Pina plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin.

This case is the product of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and Bakersfield Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian K. Delaney and Thomas Newman are prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Rivas faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 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.

Pina is scheduled to be sentenced on August 12. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will 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.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated April 8, 2019