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Press Release

Sunnyvale Gang Leader And Career Offender Sentenced To Twelve Years In Prison For Methamphetamine Trafficking In Gang Channels

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

SAN JOSE – Jose Miguel Aguilar (a/k/a “Lil Joe”) was sentenced today to twelve years in prison for methamphetamine trafficking, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson.

Aguilar was indicted on October 17, 2013, and pleaded guilty two months later, on December 18, 2013. He pleaded to one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute, and Distribution of, Methamphetamine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A)(viii).

Aguilar, one of the highest-ranking members of the Sunnyvale-based Norteño gang, “Varrio Via Sol,” or “VVS,” routinely sold ounce and greater quantities of methamphetamine. On a single day in 2013, while on probation for two separate state convictions, Aguilar convened five different methamphetamine buyers in a Sunnyvale residence to sell them methamphetamine. That day, Aguilar distributed a total of not less than 126 grams (approximately one quarter of a pound) of methamphetamine to the five buyers in exchange for more than $2,000. In his plea agreement, Aguilar conceded that under the United States Sentencing Guidelines, he is considered a “career offender” because of three violent felonies on his record, among many other prior convictions during the last two decades.

“Today’s sentence ends this defendant’s harmful activities and takes a notorious drug dealer and gang leader off the street for more than ten years,” said United States Attorney Melinda Haag. “This case demonstrates that the federal government will swiftly and aggressively prosecute gang members responsible for drug trafficking and other illegal activity in the Bay Area.”

The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Lucy H. Koh, United States District Court Judge. Judge Koh also sentenced Aguilar to a five-year period of supervised release to follow his term of imprisonment. Aguilar has been in federal custody since his arrest and will begin serving his sentence immediately.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Casey O’Neill and Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Meyer prosecuted the case with support from Susan Kreider, Tracey Andersen, and Nina Burney. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI’s Santa Clara County Violent Gang Task Force, which includes Task Force Officers from the Sunnyvale Police Department. Following the sentencing, United States Attorney Haag expressed her appreciation for the excellent work done by the FBI and Sunnyvale Police on this case and related matters.

(Aguilar indictment )



Updated November 18, 2014