Vallejo Man Indicted for Assaulting Federal Agents with a Firearm and Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a seven-count indictment today against three defendants, charging them with drug trafficking offenses, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
Jiovanni Eleazar Paco, 25, of Modesto; Carlos Daniel Gastelum Bustamante, 25, a Mexican national residing in Pasadena; and Brayan Missael Nunez Mendoza, 22, of Sacramento; are each charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, para‑fluorofentanyl (a fentanyl analogue), and methamphetamine. Each defendant is charged with distribution of fentanyl. Bustamante is also charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine, and Paco is charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.
According to court documents, the defendants distributed thousands of counterfeit M30 pills containing fentanyl on behalf of a source of supply in Mexico. On Sept. 29, 2022, Mendoza sold over 1,000 counterfeit M30 pills containing fentanyl and para-fluorofentanyl in Sacramento. On Dec. 21, 2022, Bustamante sold over 2,000 counterfeit M30 pills containing fentanyl in Stockton. Several months later, on May 2, 2023, a California Highway Patrol officer initiated a traffic stop of Bustamante in the Stockton area, searched his vehicle, and found approximately 5,530 counterfeit M30 pills containing fentanyl, and approximately 1 pound of methamphetamine. On June 12, 2023, Paco sold approximately 3,000 counterfeit M30 pills containing fentanyl. Paco was later arrested during a traffic stop on June 27, 2023, where officers found him in possession of nearly 8,000 M30 pills containing fentanyl.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the California Highway Patrol, the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office, and the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Spencer and Haddy Abouzeid are prosecuting the case.
If convicted, all defendants face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison, and a $10 million fine. Any sentence, however, would 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 charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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.