Leader of Redding-Based Methamphetamine Distribution Operation Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Rafael Pahua Martinez, 41, a Mexican national residing in Orland, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. to 21 years in prison for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, during a year-long investigation, Martinez, the principal target of that investigation, imported large quantities of methamphetamine from Southern California and then distributed them throughout the Eastern District of California and to other states.
Between September 2014 and July 2015, two undercover agents made four purchases of methamphetamine from Martinez and his couriers. These purchases occurred in Shasta and Tehama counties and totaled less than one pound. In each case, the agent negotiated the price with Martinez, who then sent one of his employees to execute the transaction in a public parking lot.
On two other occasions, Martinez used couriers to take cash to Southern California and return to Tehama County with methamphetamine. The first of these deliveries was completed on June 6, 2015, and brought 14 kilograms of methamphetamine into the Eastern District of California. In the second delivery, completed on about June 14, 2015, Martinez paid $88,200 for 10 kilograms of methamphetamine, which his courier delivered into the district.
Law enforcement officers arrested Martinez on July 7, 2015, in Orland. They seized $49,500 from Martinez and his car. He had intended to use nearly all of this this money to purchase additional methamphetamine.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the California Highway Patrol, the Tehama Interagency Drug Enforcement (TIDE) Task Force, and the Shasta Interagency Narcotic Task Force. Assistant United States Attorneys Paul A. Hemesath and Amanda Beck prosecuted the case.