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Justice News

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

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Fugitive Methamphetamine Distributor Sentenced To Eight Years In Prison

Defendant Pleaded Guilty After Evading Law Enforcement for 23 Years

SAN FRANCISCO – Hermilo Virelas Maciel was sentenced to 96 months in prison for conspiracy and possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Rayfield Roundtree, and United States Marshal Donald M. O’Keefe.  The sentence was handed down yesterday afternoon by the Honorable William H. Alsup, U.S. District Judge. 

Maciel, 64, of Santa Rosa, Calif., pleaded guilty to the charges on May 22, 2018.  Twenty three years earlier, on May 22, 1995, Maciel was arrested as he attempted to sell approximately 2.5 pounds of methamphetamine to a confidential informant.  

On June 15, 1995, a federal grand jury indicted Maciel, charging him with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846, and one count of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).  The next day, June 16, 1995, Maciel was arraigned on the charges and then was released on an unsecured personal recognizance bond.  Weeks later, the defendant absconded from pre-trial supervision and on August 28, 1995, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.  On March 28, 2018, Michigan State Police located the defendant in Michigan and arrested him on the then-almost 23-year outstanding bench warrant.  Upon his return in custody to San Francisco, Maciel pleaded guilty to the original charges in the indictment.    

Maciel has been in custody since his arrest in March of 2018; he will begin serving his sentence immediately. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Alsup ordered Maciel to serve a three-year period of supervised release.  

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shailika Kotiya is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Rawaty Yim.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Mendocino County-Wide Narcotics Task Force, the ATF, and the United States Marshals Service.   

Updated September 12, 2018