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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 4, 2022

Porterville Man Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl and Methamphetamine Distribution

FRESNO, Calif. —Renato Aguilera, 30, of Porterville, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 3, 2020, Aguilera conspired with Pedro Delgado-Montenegro, 42, a native and citizen of Mexico, and James Cox, 58, of Porterville, to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine. Aguilera, acting at the direction of Delgado-Montenegro, delivered 800 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl during two separate undercover transactions. Aguilera also delivered approximately 1 pound of methamphetamine to Cox, following negotiations between Delgado-Montenegro and Cox.

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

Aguilera is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on April 29, 2022. Aguilera 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.

Charges are pending against Cox and Delgado-Montenegro. The charges are only allegations; 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.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated February 4, 2022