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Press Release

Stanislaus County Defendants Plead Guilty In Scheme To Send Methamphetamine To Hawaii

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

FRESNO, Calif. — Miguel Leontapia, 33, and Gilberto Chavez Leon, age 29, both Delhi residents, pleaded guilty Monday to conduct relating to a scheme to send methamphetamine to Hawaii, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Leontapia pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and Leon pled guilty to conspiracy to bulk smuggle cash.

According to court documents, in August 2012, Leontapia and his co-defendants obtained approximately three pounds of methamphetamine that they attempted to ship to Hawaii. Instead, law enforcement seized it. Leon admitted that in August 2012, he and a co‑conspirator traveled from Stanislaus County to Hawaii where they obtained approximately $67,000 cash. Leon and the other person then attempted to take that cash, concealed on their persons and in their luggage, onto a flight to Oakland from Honolulu.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Modesto Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Rooney is prosecuting the case.

This case is 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.

Leontapia and Leon are scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on March 2, 2015. Leontapia faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. Leon faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentences, 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.

Updated April 8, 2015

Press Release Number: Docket #: 1:12-cr-344 LJO