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Press Release

Mexican National Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Fentanyl and Heroin Trafficking; Porterville Co-conspirator Pleads Guilty

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

FRESNO, Calif. — Maria Delgado, 31, of Culiacán, Mexico, was sentenced today to four years in prison for her participation in a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and heroin, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Delgado delivered 1,350 fentanyl pills to an undercover officer in exchange for $9,500. She also received 2.2 pounds of heroin in Los Angeles for distribution in Porterville.

Another member of the conspiracy, James Cox, 58, of Porterville, pleaded guilty today to participating in the drug conspiracy. According to court documents, Cox and another individual received over a pound of methamphetamine in two separate transactions from co-defendant Renato Aguilera, 30, of Porterville. Aguilera has pleaded guilty to participating in the drug conspiracy and was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison.

Cox is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 14, 2022, by U.S. District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston. Cox faces a mandatory minimum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison, and 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.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Porterville Police Department, the Coalinga Police Department, and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Escobar is prosecuting the case.

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

Updated July 22, 2022

Drug Trafficking