One Pasco And Two Lake County Residents Charged With Trafficking In Methamphetamine
Tampa, Florida – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Shawn Paul Hendricks (41, Dade City), Vladimir Castaneda (26, Eustis), and Jose Edgar Gonzalez-Castaneda (45, Eustis) with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, announces United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III, along with Acting Special Agent in Charge A.D. Wright, DEA Miami Field Division, and Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco. Castaneda and Gonzalez-Castaneda were also charged with distribution of 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. If convicted, each faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison. The indictment also notifies the defendants that the United States intends to forfeit $49,334 in cash, a silver 2008 BMW sedan, and a Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum pistol and ammunition, which are alleged to be traceable to the offenses.
According to court documents, Hendricks, who was known by law enforcement to be a large-scale methamphetamine trafficker, was arrested in Dade City on February 18, 2015, for fleeing and alluding law enforcement after an attempted traffic stop. Agents subsequently seized marijuana, a gun, and nearly $50,000 in cash from a Dade City residence where Hendricks lived with his girlfriend. Hendricks admitted to having received 10 to 15 pounds of methamphetamine a week over the past year from a source of supply in Atlanta, and stated that he was to receive such a shipment the following night. With Hendricks’s cooperation, on February 19, 2015, agents arrested Castaneda and Gonzalez-Castaneda in Eustis, after they had delivered nearly 9 pounds of methamphetamine to Hendricks. In one of the transport vehicles, agents found an additional 11 pounds of methamphetamine. Gonzales-Castaneda admitted that he and Castaneda had picked up the methamphetamine in Atlanta earlier that morning.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kathy J.M. Peluso.