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Press Release

Visalia Resident Sentenced to 16.5 Years in Prison for Trafficking Methamphetamine

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

FRESNO, Calif. — James Cox, 60, of Visalia, was sentenced today to 16 years and six months in prison for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced. 

According to court documents, Cox and a third party, acting at Cox’s direction, received over a pound of methamphetamine in two separate transactions from co-defendant Renato Aguilera, 31, of Porterville, after negotiating with Pedro Delgado-Montenegro, 43, a former Porterville resident and a citizen of Mexico.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Porterville Police Department, the Coalinga Police Department, and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Escobar is prosecuting the case.

Aguilera has pleaded guilty to participating in the drug conspiracy and was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison. Charges are pending against Delgado-Montenegro; he is 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

Updated February 8, 2023

Drug Trafficking