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Press Release

Second Mexican National Pleads Guilty In Bakersfield Stash House Case

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

FRESNO, Calif. — Gamaliel Salas-Mendoza, aka Rene Salas Mendoza (Salas), 38, of Mexico, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, Salas and Miguel Sanchez-Mendoza (Sanchez), 46, also of Mexico, maintained a stash house in Bakersfield where law enforcement officers seized seven pounds of methamphetamine, one and a half pounds of cocaine, and one half pound of heroin, all packaged for sale. In addition to the drugs, officers found digital scales, cutting agents, a kilogram press, and $9,483 in cash, which has been forfeited.

Sanchez previously entered a guilty plea to the drug conspiracy and was sentenced last month to an eight-year prison term.

This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Kern County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Enforcement Team, Kern County Sheriff’s Office Major Violators Unit, and the California Multijurisdictional Methamphetamine Enforcement Team. Assistant United States Attorney Karen A. Escobar is prosecuting the case.

Salas is scheduled to be sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on September 15, 2014. Salas faces a mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years, a maximum prison term of life 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. Both Salas and Sanchez are subject to deportation to Mexico following the completion of any prison term imposed.

Updated April 8, 2015

Press Release Number: Docket #: 1:13-cr-027 AWI-BAM