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Press Release

Lodi Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Methamphetamine Trafficking and for Being a Felon in Possession of Ammunition

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Marcello Marlo Rivera, 49, of Lodi, was sentenced today to 25 years in prison for possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and for being a felon in possession of ammunition, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to evidence presented at trial, on May 11, 2022, while law enforcement agents were attempting to execute a federal search warrant, Rivera flushed methamphetamine down the toilet at his residence in Lodi. The agents found large bags with leftover methamphetamine shards and residue in Rivera’s room. Rivera was also found to be in possession of a loaded high-capacity magazine containing 17 live rounds of ammunition. Rivera cannot legally possess ammunition because he has previously been convicted of multiple felonies.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the California Highway Patrol, the Lodi Police Department, the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Spencer and Kerry Blackburn prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.  For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, please visit

This case is also part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Force Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations.

The mission of the OCDETF Sacramento Strike Force is to identify, investigate, disrupt, and dismantle the most significant drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), transnational criminal organizations (TCOs), and Priority Transactional Organized Crime Groups (PTOCs).

Updated January 30, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking