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Press Release

Fresno Man Indicted for Throwing Methamphetamine into Mendota Prison Yard

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

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment today against Garrett Scott Wheelen, 33, of Fresno, charging him with possessing methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, on May 1, 2024, Wheelen arrived at the Federal Correctional Institution Mendota wearing a facemask, baseball cap, and hoodie to conceal his identity. In broad daylight, Wheelen ran to the prison fence and tossed four packages into the prison’s recreation yard. He was quickly apprehended after attempting to flee. The packages contained over 3 pounds of methamphetamine.

According to the criminal complaint, none of the inmates who were in the recreation yard retrieved the packages that were thrown.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Mendota Police Department, and the Bureau of Prisons. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cody S. Chapple is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Romero faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison, and a $1 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.

Updated May 23, 2024

Drug Trafficking