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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Methamphetamine Traffickers Sentenced To 23 Years And 17 Years In Prison

SAN JOSE – Salvador Espinoza-Patino and Alejandro Espinoza Del Toro were sentenced to 23 and 17 years in prison, respectively, for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute methamphetamine, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and distribution of methamphetamine, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Special Agent in Charge Bruce Balzano.

Espinoza-Patino, 32, of Fremont, Calif, was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 28, 2013, for one count of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846; two counts of conspiring to commit money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h) and §1956(a)(2)(b)(i), and two counts of distribution of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).  On October 27, 2014, Espinoza-Patino pleaded guilty without a plea agreement to all the charges alleged against him in the indictment.

Del Toro, (a/k/a “Marco Antonio Ortuno Del Toro”), 24, of Los Banos, Calif., was also indicted by a federal grand jury on February 28, 2013.  He was charged in the indictment with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1); one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h) and 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(2)(B)(i); and one count of distribution of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).  On December 5, 2014, he pleaded guilty to all the charges alleged against him in the indictment.

According to government filings, the investigation established that Espinoza-Patino was a leader within a drug trafficking organization that was involved in large scale methamphetamine trafficking.  On November 30, 2012, agents executed search warrants at a number of locations.  The bulk of the methamphetamine was seized from two stash houses that Espinoza-Patino and Del Toro maintained.  Specifically, when agents executed a search warrant at the stash house located at 2219 Raquet Club Drive in Los Banos, agents seized approximately 554 pounds (259 kilograms) of methamphetamine, two firearms, and a vehicle that had a hidden compartment.  Likewise, when agents executed a search warrant at the stash house located at 441 North Santa Venetia in Los Banos, agents seized approximately 104 pounds (47 kilograms) of methamphetamine, and a vehicle that had a hidden compartment. 
           
The sentences of Espinoza-Patino and Del Toro were handed down by the Honorable Lucy H. Koh, U.S. District Judge.  Judge Koh also sentenced both Espinoza-Patino and Del Toro to a 5-year period of supervised release.  The defendants have been in federal custody since November 30, 2012.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard Cheng and Chinhayi Cadet are prosecuting the case.  This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a focused multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force investigating and prosecuting the most significant drug trafficking organizations throughout the United States by leveraging the combined expertise of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Updated May 19, 2015