Mexican National Residing in Bakersfield Pleads Guilty to Possessing 60 Pounds of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California
FRESNO, Calif. — Francisco Torres Mora, 30, a Mexican national residing in Bakersfield, pleaded guilty today to possessing with intent to distribute 60 pounds of methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, in April 2021, Torres possessed 60 pounds of methamphetamine at a commercial property that he intended to distribute. Law enforcement officers seized the methamphetamine after wire intercepts indicated that Torres was holding the methamphetamine for Jorge Calderon-Campos, 42, also a Mexican national, who was the target of a wiretap investigation that resulted in the seizure of an additional 26 pounds of methamphetamine and 1 kilogram of heroin. The wiretap investigation also uncovered an illegal cockfighting enterprise involving Calderon-Campos, who is charged in a second indictment with violations of the Animal Welfare Act. An associate, Horacio Ortega-Martinez, 36, a Mexican national residing in Bakersfield, previously pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of gamecocks for an animal fighting venture and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
This case was the product of an investigation led by Homeland Security Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General (USDA-OIG), 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 Task Force, the California Highway Patrol, 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.
Torres is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on Jan. 29, 2024. Torres 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 and four other co-defendants are currently scheduled for a status conference on Dec. 6, 2023. They are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
Updated September 25, 2023