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Press Release

South Bay Methamphetamine Trafficker Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

SAN JOSE – Anthonio Rueda-Ayala was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge John J. Martin.  The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Edward J. Davila, U.S. District Judge, following the entry of Rueda-Ayala’s guilty plea to the charge on December 19, 2016.

According to his plea agreement, Rueda-Ayala, 31, of San Jose, admitted that beginning in June of 2013, and continuing through December of that year, he entered into an agreement with codefendant Marco Antonio Ochoa-Valladares (“Valladares”) and others to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.  Specifically, Rueda-Ayala admitted he received approximately fifteen pounds of methamphetamine from Valladares so that he could distribute the methamphetamine in various places in California.  The defendant admitted that in August of 2013, he put the methamphetamine in a hidden compartment located under the front passenger seat of his sport utility vehicle and traveled from Modesto to Chowchilla, Calif.  Along the way, Rueda-Ayala stopped in Whittier and Corona to distribute portions of the methamphetamine.  As he was traveling through Chowchilla, Rueda-Ayala was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol.  A search of his vehicle revealed thirteen one-gallon sized zip-lock bags containing crystal methamphetamine in the hidden compartment of the car.  Rueda-Ayala acknowledged the zip-lock bags contained 6,334 net grams of actual methamphetamine.

On January 16, 2014, a federal grand jury indicted Rueda-Ayala, Valladares, and three other co-conspirators for their alleged respective roles in the conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.  Each of the co-defendants was charged with participating in the same conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, and 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).  Pursuant to his guilty plea, Ramirez pleaded guilty to the charge. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Davila ordered Rueda-Ayala to serve a five-year period of supervised release.  Rueda-Ayala currently is out of custody on a secured bond.  Judge Davila ordered the defendant to surrender on or before August 16, 2017, to begin serving his sentence. Valladeras pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy on January 30, 2017, and on April 20, 2017, Judge Davila sentenced Valladeras to 132 months in prison and five years of supervised release. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Backhus is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Ryka Barghi.  This case is the product of an extensive investigation by 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 22, 2017

Drug Trafficking