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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Central Valley Drug Dealer Sentenced To More Than Sixteen Years In Prison

Defendant arrested with over 10 pounds of methamphetamine and three firearms.

OAKLAND – Ismael Mendoza Rodriguez was sentenced today to 200 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, announced Acting United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge John J. Martin.  The sentence was handed down by the Honorable James Donato, U.S. District Judge.

Mendoza Rodriguez, 37, of Turlock, pleaded guilty to the charges on July 14, 2017.  As part of his plea agreement, Mendoza Rodriguez acknowledged that he participated in a conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and cocaine.  Specifically, Mendoza Rodriguez admitted that on four separate occasions in 2015 – March 10, May 1, July 14, and August 17 – he met with an undercover police officer and sold him a total of two pounds of methamphetamine and one-half kilogram of cocaine.

On November 13, 2015, law enforcement authorities executed a search warrant at Mendoza Rodriguez’s home in Turlock.  Inside, authorities found approximately ten pounds of methamphetamine underneath the bathroom sink.  In the master bedroom, law enforcement found approximately $34,455.  Mendoza Rodriguez admitted that the cash represented the proceeds of his drug sales.  Agents also found three firearms in the master bedroom: a loaded .22 caliber pistol on a bedside dresser, a .30 caliber rifle in the closet, and a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun with an obliterated serial number also in the closet.  Mendoza Rodriguez admitted that he possessed the .22 pistol in furtherance of drug trafficking.  On the floor of the master bedroom, agents found a cooler containing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.  Agents arrested Mendoza Rodriguez while executing the search warrant and he has remained in custody since then.  

On November 19, 2015, a federal grand jury indicted Mendoza Rodriguez charging him and twelve co-defendants with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 & 841(a)(1).  The indictment also charged Mendoza Rodriguez with possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 924(c).  Pursuant to his plea agreement, Mendoza Rodriguez pleaded guilty to both charges. 

Mendoza Rodriguez’s sentence brings to seven the number of defendants sentenced as part of the conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.  The six other defendants sentenced include the following:
 

Defendant

Age/

Residence

Charges

Status

Jesus Guadalupe Rojas

32/

Turlock

Distribution of methamphetamine,

21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1)

Sentenced on June 14, 2017, to 24 months in prison and 3 years supervised release.

 

Jose Armando Mendoza Linares

42/

Turlock

Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine,

21 U.S.C. §§ 846 & 841(a)(1)

Sentenced on October 25, 2017, to 60 months in prison and 5 years supervised release.

Gabriel Estrada

41/

Compton

Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine,

21 U.S.C. §§ 846 & 841(a)(1)

Sentenced on December 13, 2017, to 70 months in prison and 3 years supervised release

 

Vanessa Valdez

31/ Chula Vista

Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine,

21 U.S.C. §§ 846 & 841(a)(1)

Sentenced on December 13, 2017, to 22 months in prison and 3 years supervised release.

 

Elias Dominguez

46/

Patterson

Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine,

21 U.S.C. §§ 846 & 841(a)(1)

Sentenced on January 24, 2018, to 55 months in prison and 5 years supervised release.

 

Carlos Martinez

26/

Hayward

Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine,

21 U.S.C. §§ 846 & 841(a)(1)

Sentenced on February 21, 2018, to 30 months in prison and 3 years supervised release.

 

 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christiaan Highsmith, Sheila Armbrust, Katie Burroughs Medearis, and Gregg Lowder are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Theresa Benitez, Ana Guerra, and Michelle Alter Eck.  The prosecution is the result of a investigation by the DEA, the Concord Police Department, and the IRS Criminal Investigations.  The investigation was conducted and funded by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, a multi-agency task force that coordinates long-term narcotics trafficking investigations.

Updated February 22, 2018