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Justice News

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

Monday, March 17, 2014

Second Defendant Pleads Guilty In Scheme To Use Fresno Trucking Front To Ship Cocaine To Canada

FRESNO, Calif. —Vicente Rivaz-Felix, 28, an undocumented alien who was living in Los Angeles, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, Rivaz-Felix’s co-defendants set up a Fresno trucking company intending that cocaine would be concealed in legitimate cargo to be shipped to Canada. On September 21, 2012, Rivaz-Felix delivered eight kilograms of cocaine to a courier who had been sent to Los Angeles by his co-defendants. Law enforcement seized that cocaine and followed Rivaz-Felix back to his Los Angeles residence. A search warrant was served there on September 21, 2012, and 40 more kilograms of cocaine were seized.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Fresno Police Department, and the Fontana and Vernon Police Departments. Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Rooney is prosecuting the case.

Rivaz-Felix has been held in custody without bail since his arrest on September 21, 2012. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on June 2, 2014. Rivaz-Felix faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 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 was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF Program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.

Press Release Number: 
Docket #: 1:12 CR 340 AWI
Updated April 8, 2015