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Press Release

Merced County Man Admits Smuggling Cash from Marijuana Proceeds into Mexico

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

FRESNO, Calif. — On Friday, February 17, 2017, Arnulfo Huerta-Cornejo, 32, of Delhi, pleaded guilty to conspiring to smuggle bulk cash, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, between March 2014 and August 2015, Huerta-Cornejo was involved with the cultivation of marijuana on federal lands. During that time, he accumulated approximately $16,000 cash from the sale of marijuana, hid that cash in a vehicle, and arranged to have the cash smuggled into Mexico. Applicable federal regulations require reporting when $10,000 or more cash is taken out the United States.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Forest Service, the Madera County Sheriff’s Department and the Merced County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Rooney is prosecuting the case.

Huerta-Cornejo is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on May 22, 2017. Huerta-Cornejo faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will 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.

Updated February 21, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 1:15 cr 237 LJO