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Press Release

Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Possessing Heroin with Intent to Distribute in Bakersfield

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

FRESNO, Calif. — Antonio Beltran-Chaidez, 54, a Mexican national, pleaded guilty today to possessing with intent to distribute heroin, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, in January 2022, Beltran recruited his brother Jose Beltran-Chaidez, 66, a Mexican national residing in Bakersfield, to deliver approximately 2 pounds of heroin to Jorge Calderon-Campos, 43, a Mexican national residing in Bakersfield, for distribution to Calderon-Campos’s customers. However, when Calderon-Campos was unable to sell the drug, Jose Beltran-Chaidez retrieved it from Calderon-Campos and was in possession of the heroin when stopped by a law enforcement officer for a traffic violation.

Beltran is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 26, 2024, by U.S. District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston. Beltran faces a mandatory statutory minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison, along with a $10 million 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.

Calderon-Campos, Jose Beltran-Chaidez, and two other co-defendants are currently scheduled for a status conference on May 13, 2024. They are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is the product of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Secret Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Kern County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, the CHP, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Kern County Sheriff's Office, the Kern County Probation Department, and the Bakersfield Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Escobar is prosecuting the case.

The case was investigated under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. For more information about OCDETF, please visit


Updated May 24, 2024

Drug Trafficking