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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Last Of 4 Methamphetamine Traffickers Sentenced To Prison

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The last of four methamphetamine traffickers, Jose Angel Martinez Chairez, 39, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

On July 29, 2014, Angel Martinez Diaz, 27, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and Jose Ramirez Verduzco, 29, was sentenced to 13 years in prison. On August 12, 2014, Jose Maria Villareal, 26, was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison. All four defendants formerly resided in San Jose.

According to court documents, on July 10, 2013, the four defendants travelled in two vehicles from San Jose to a shopping center just off Interstate Highway 5 in Anderson, to sell a large quantity of crystal methamphetamine to an individual who purported to be interested in purchasing the drugs. In reality, that person was a confidential informant working for law enforcement agents. Under surveillance by the agents, the informant met with Martinez Diaz, Martinez Chairez, and Villareal who showed him a one-kilogram package of crystal methamphetamine represented to be a sample of the total 14 kilograms brought to sell to the CI. After a short discussion, the remaining drugs were brought up to the site in a second vehicle with a hidden compartment. Law enforcement agents watched as the defendants showed the remaining methamphetamine, after which the agents closed in and arrested the four defendants.

A total of 13.868 kilograms (30.5 pounds) of 99 percent pure crystal methamphetamine was seized. This represents approximately 2,760 dosage units according to documents filed in the case. That amount of drugs was three times the top level of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Drug Table, even taking into account the recent amendments passed by the U.S. Sentencing Commission which increased the amount of drugs needed to reach this highest level.

According to U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner, “Methamphetamine is, by far, the largest drug problem faced in California in terms of the number of people abusing it and the detrimental impact it has on society. A 2013 study commissioned by the Office of National Drug Control Policy titled “Adam II” showed that slightly over 50 percent of the recently arrested inmates at the Sacramento County Jail tested positive for methamphetamine. That was an increase of 10 percent over the prior year. Additionally, the increase in both the quantity and quality of the methamphetamine seized in the last three years in the drug cases prosecuted by this office shows a marked increase in the availability of high purity crystal methamphetamine, which is often traced back to drug trafficking organizations in Mexico.”

This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration –Redding Resident Office and the Shasta County Interagency Narcotics Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Richard Bender prosecuted the case.

Press Release Number: 
Docket #:  2:13-cr-247 JAM
Updated April 8, 2015