Three from Southern California Traffic Heroin and 30 Pounds Methamphetamine in Fresno
FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment today against Julian Aispuro Jr., 33, of Los Angeles; Abel Gregory Castro, 29, of Torrance; and Tauri Dolores Valera, 32, of San Pedro, charging them with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and heroin and possession with the intent to distribute both methamphetamine and heroin, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced. Additionally, Castro and Valera were charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
According to court documents, Aispuro arranged to sell methamphetamine, black tar heroin, and china white heroin to two people, one of whom was an undercover officer. On February 21, 2018, Aispuro arrived at the prearranged meeting spot. Castro and Valera arrived separately with approximately 28.9 pounds of methamphetamine and 1.3 pounds of china white heroin in the trunk as well as a loaded .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver in plain view on the back seat.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Fresno Methamphetamine Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), California Department of Justice’s Special Investigation Team, California Highway Patrol, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, and Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurel J. Montoya is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Aispuro faces a statutory penalty of a minimum of 10 years to life years in prison and a $10 million fine. If convicted, Castro and Valera face a statutory penalty of a minimum of 15 years to life years 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 defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.