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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 15, 2015

Butte County Man Pleads Guilty To Drug Trafficking And Being A Felon In Possession Of A Firearm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Seth Michael Bertolini, 44, of Chico, pleaded guilty today to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of drug trafficking, United States Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Chico Police Department, and the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Rodriguez is prosecuting the case.

According to court documents, on June 4, 2014, law enforcement officers in Chico stopped Bertolini for driving with his car’s radio system playing too loudly. Bertolini emerged from his car appearing animated and agitated and he initially squared off to fight before turning and fleeing. After a foot pursuit, officers arrested Bertolini and found over 35 grams of packaged heroin on his person and in his car and a fully loaded Smith and Wesson .32 caliber revolver. During a later search of Bertolini's residence, more heroin, trafficking paraphernalia, and another gun were found. Bertolini has suffered multiple prior felony convictions.

Bertolini is scheduled to be sentenced on April 16, 2015, by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley. Bertolini faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the gun offense and up to 20 years in prison for the drug trafficking offense. 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.

Press Release Number: 
Docket #: 2:14-cr-260 TLN
Updated April 8, 2015