Fresno Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Distribute Heroin
FRESNO, Calif. — Rafael Guzman, 42, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
Guzman was indicted on April 9, 2015, with six other defendants including Keith Foster, a former deputy chief of the Fresno Police Department. According to Guzman’s plea agreement, between December 23, 2014, and February 2, 2015, he conspired with Foster to acquire and distribute heroin.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorneys Melanie L. Alsworth and Duce W. Rice are prosecuting the case.
Guzman is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on August 15, 2016. Guzman faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 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.
Co-defendant Sarah Ybarra previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute marijuana and was sentenced to a one year in prison. The charges against all of the remaining defendants, including Foster, are allegations only; they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.