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Press Release

State Prison Inmate Sentenced to 11 Years in Federal Prison for Smuggling Methamphetamine into Pelican Bay State Prison

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Patrick Botello, 36, of Richmond, was sentenced today to 11 years and three months in prison for participating in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and heroin, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert  announced.

According to court documents, Botello and another inmate incarcerated at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison arranged with four people outside the prison to obtain methamphetamine and heroin, conceal the drugs within balloons, and then smuggle the drugs into the prison.

Botello was one of 27 federal defendants arrested in February 2018 on narcotics and weapons-related charges as part of Operation Silent Night, a multi‑agency law enforcement investigation into coordinated criminal activity in Woodland. Beginning in the spring of 2016, the investigation uncovered organized criminal activity in Woodland with ties to criminal organizations in California’s jail and prison system. Although centered in Yolo County, the investigation revealed that at least nine other California counties were negatively impacted by these criminal organizations: Sacramento, Sutter, Colusa, Yuba, Del Norte, Solano, Fresno, Santa Clara, and Siskiyou.

Operation Silent Night is the product of an investigation by the FBI, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, the Woodland Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol. The following agencies provided substantial assistance: the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office, the Sacramento Police Department, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, the West Sacramento Police Department, the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, the Davis Police Department, the Yuba City Police Department, the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office, the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office, the Solano County Sheriff’s Office, the Vacaville Police Department, the Correctional Intelligence Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Lee is prosecuting the cases.

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.

Updated October 6, 2022

Topics
Drug Trafficking