Eighth Defendant Pleads Guilty to Porterville-Based Drug Ring
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California
FRESNO, Calif. — Xochil Aguilera, 39, of Porterville, pleaded guilty today to a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
Aguilera is the eighth defendant in this case to plead guilty. According to court documents, Aguilera served as a courier of drugs and money for the drug trafficking operation. On July 14, 2020, she delivered 800 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl; on Sept. 23, 2020, she received $2,000 from co-defendant James Cox for a half pound of methamphetamine; and on Nov. 12, 2020, she received $1,850 from an undercover agent for the sale of 1,100 fentanyl pills. Aguilera is the wife of Pedro Delgado-Montenegro, 43, who is also charged with participating in the drug trafficking organization. In pleading guilty, Aguilera agreed to the forfeiture of $27,021, which represents drug proceeds seized in this case.
Other defendants who have entered guilty pleas to drug charges in this case include:
- Ignacio Alcantar-Torres, 33, of Porterville, is scheduled for sentencing on July 10, 2023;
- Alexis Mendiola, 37, of Northridge, is scheduled for sentencing on July 10, 2023;
- Ana Margarita Valdez-Torres, 43, of MacFarland, is scheduled for sentencing on July 24, 2023;
- Maria Delgado, 32, a citizen of Mexico, was sentenced to four years in prison;
- Renato Aguilera, 31, of Porterville, was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison;
- Roberto Cavazos, 44, of Porterville, was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison;
- James Cox, 60, of Visalia, was sentenced to 16 years and six months in prison.
Charges are pending against Delgado-Montenegro; he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Porterville Police Department, the Coalinga Police Department, and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Escobar is prosecuting the case
Aguilera is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on Aug. 14, 2023. Aguilera faces a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison and a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison, and a fine of up to $10 million. 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.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
Updated May 1, 2023