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Press Release

Los Angeles County Man Arrested in Fresno County for Possessing Cocaine

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

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment Thursday against Omar Patron-Valdez, 25, of Santa Fe Springs, charging him with possession of one kilogram or more of cocaine with the intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, on November 30, 2017, Patron-Valdez was driving northbound on I-5 near Nees Avenue in Fresno County when CHP stopped him for having illegally tinted windows. The CHP narcotics detection dog alerted to the vehicle Patron-Valdez was driving, and a hidden compartment was located. Officers found four kilogram-sized bricks in the compartment that tested positive for cocaine.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the California Highway Patrol. Assistant United States Attorney Laurel J. Montoya is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Patron-Valdez faces a mandatory term of five years in prison and a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison and a $4 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 defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated December 15, 2017

Drug Trafficking