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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

South Bay Methamphetamine Trafficker Sentenced To More Than Six Years In Prison

SAN FRANCISCO – Francisco Puga Camacho was sentenced today to 74 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and related charges announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett.  The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Lucy H. Koh, U.S. District Judge.  Puga is the last of seven defendants apprehended and sentenced in connection with the drug distribution scheme.  

Puga, 49, of Salinas, Calif., pleaded guilty to the charges on March 6, 2019.  The charges stem from an FBI investigation in Monterey County into methamphetamine trafficking networks in and around Salinas.  According to court filings, Puga agreed with Horacio Quintana Medina, Joel Quintana Medina, and Jesus Bernal Nunez to distribute methamphetamine to customers. According to Puga’s plea agreement, he conspired to distribute drugs since at least March of 2017.  Puga admitted that he was involved in a shipment of drugs intercepted on March 23, 2017. On that date, California Highway Patrol (“CHP”) officers in Salinas pulled over a vehicle for multiple violations of the California Vehicle Code.  During the stop and subsequent search of the vehicle, the officers located approximately eight pounds of methamphetamine concealed in the trunk.  Puga admitted that he had contacted his source in Mexico to arrange for the delivery of the methamphetamine and that the methamphetamine found in the trunk was the drugs he was arranging for delivery.  Further, Puga admitted that on July 15, 2017, he sold approximately two pounds of methamphetamine to a customer in the garage of his residence. Puga admitted that he contacted his source of supply in Mexico to request the two pounds of methamphetamine and that prior to the transaction, he had multiple telephone conversations with the customer to arrange the deal.

On September 26, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Puga and seven co-defendants, charging them with their respective roles in the methamphetamine trafficking scheme.  All of Puga’s codefendants except one have pleaded guilty to charges as follows:

Name

Age

Charges

Date of Sentencing and Sentence

Horacio Quintana Medina

24

21 U.S.C. § 846- conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine

May 29, 2019 and received 68 months of imprisonment, 5 years supervised release.

Joel Quintana Medina

27

21 U.S.C. § 846- conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine

May 22, 2019 and received 60 months of imprisonment, 5 years supervised release.

Jesus Bernal Nunez

44

21 U.S.C. § 841-Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine

May 29, 2019 and received 60 months of imprisonment, 5 years supervised release.

Nestor Tavarez

46

21 U.S.C. § 843(b)- Use of a communication facility (telephone) to commit felony drug offense

May 15, 2019 and received 42 months of imprisonment, 3 years supervised release

Alejandro Dominguez Hernandez

38

21 U.S.C. § 841-Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine

April 24, 2019 and received 68 months of imprisonment, 5 years supervised release.

Ernesto Calderon Ramirez

23

21 U.S.C. § 841-Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine

April 3, 2019, 24 months of imprisonment, 4 years supervised release

Oscar Gonzalez Quevedo remains a fugitive.  He is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Koh ordered Puga to serve a 5-year period of supervised release.  Judge Koh ordered Puga to surrender to the Bureau of Prison on or before August 14, 2019, to begin serving his prison term.  

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey Backhus is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Elise Etter.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI.  This case was investigated and prosecuted by member agencies of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, 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 June 20, 2019