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Press Release

Sacramento Woman Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Distribution

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sofia Cisneros-Noyola, 39, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty today to possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, in 2020, a team of local and federal law enforcement officers partnered in an investigation into the drug trafficking activities of Cisneros-Noyola and her co‑defendants Esmerelda Ceja-Mendez, 43, of Ceres; Julian Loeza, 33, of Ceres; and Victor Ramirez, 37, of Atwater. On Dec. 2, 2020, law enforcement agents stopped Cisneros-Noyola while she was en route from Modesto to a location where she had arranged to conduct a narcotics transaction. Agents searched the vehicle and seized 20,000 counterfeit oxycontin M-30 pills weighing more than 2 kilograms from under the front passenger seat.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the San Joaquin County Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Antonio J. Pataca, Sam Stefanki, and Audrey Hemesath are prosecuting the case.

Cisneros-Noyola is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on June 24, 2024. Cisneros-Noyola faces 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.

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 Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, please visit

Updated January 29, 2024

Drug Trafficking