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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 14, 2020

Fresno Man Sentenced to Over 15 Years in Prison for Methamphetamine Trafficking Conspiracy

Approximately 134 Pounds of Methamphetamine Seized

FRESNO, Calif. — Erick Lizarraga, 30, of Fresno was sentenced today to 15 years and eight months in prison for conspiring to traffic methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, Lizarraga and his co-conspirators trafficked large quantities of methamphetamine in the Fresno-Madera area, as well as sending methamphetamine to Denver, Colorado. Lizarraga arranged two shipments to Denver that were seized by law enforcement. Thus far in the case:

  • Diblaim Valdez-Araux, 33, of Madera, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison;
  • Jesus Bueno, 29, of Fresno, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 11 years and eight months in prison;
  • Rosemarie Martinez, 66, of Fresno, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison;
  • Perla Ramos, 31, David Martinez, 68, and Brittany Martinez, 28, all of Fresno, pleaded guilty and are scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 18, 2020.
  • Charges are pending against Fresno residents Noyra Gonzalez, 41; and Maricela Castellanos, 54. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

On Oct. 13, 2018, David Martinez and Rosemarie Martinez had 30 pounds of methamphetamine with them that they were taking to Denver via Amtrak. On Oct. 15, 2018, after Lizarraga arranged for Diblaim Valdez-Araux to get another 30 pounds of methamphetamine. Noyra Gonzalez and Maricela Castellanos were arrested while taking the 30 pounds to Denver after their car was stopped and searched by the California Highway Patrol. Jesus Bueno purchased approximately 20 pounds of methamphetamine from Lizarraga that he sold to customers in the Fresno area. On Nov. 4, 2018, Valdez-Diblaim was stopped in Selma by law enforcement officers with approximately 54 pounds of methamphetamine while returning from the Los Angeles area. Perla Ramos and Brittany Martinez assisted Lizarraga in delivering drugs and collecting profits.

This case is the product of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fresno County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laurel J. Montoya, Stephanie Stokman and Thomas Newman are prosecuting the case.

The OCDETF program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
1:18-cr-252
Updated August 14, 2020