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Justice News

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

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fresno Women Including A Mother And Daughter Indicted For Trafficking Methamphetamine

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment charging Marisela Rico-Tzintzun, 38, her daughter Vanessa Garcia, 23, and friend Brenda Ruiz-Tovar, 26, all of Fresno, with conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, distributing methamphetamine, and possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, the three had been working together since April 2013 to sell methamphetamine in the Fresno area. On September 4, 2013, the three sold approximately one pound of methamphetamine, and on April 7, 2014, Rico-Tzintzun sold approximately one ounce. On July 17, 2014, a search warrant for Rico-Tzintun’s residence was issued and nearly two pounds of methamphetamine was found there.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Central Valley Marijuana Investigation Team that is composed of officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration, California Department of Justice, and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Laurel J. Montoya is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years to life in prison and a $10 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 defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated April 8, 2015