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Press Release

Bakersfield Man Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Conspiring to Distribute Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Fentanyl, and Heroin

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — Jose Rivas Jr., 27, of Bakersfield, was sentenced today to seven years in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl, and heroin, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, between June 2016 and May 2018, Rivas conspired with another Bakersfield man, Juan Pina, 24, 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 at least 45 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, a loaded handgun, and three long guns all found within close proximity to the drugs. Rivas was working with Pina, in connection with shipping the narcotics seized on May 3. Rivas directed Pina to pick up narcotics from various individuals. Rivas then provided Pina with addresses of individuals across the country to coordinate the shipment of kilogram quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.

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

Juan Pina pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin, and on Aug. 28, 2019, he was sentenced to six years and six months in prison.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Homeland Security Investigations and the Bakersfield Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Antonio J. Pataca prosecuted the case.

Updated January 23, 2023

Drug Trafficking