California Man Sentenced for Possessing Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute
TULSA, Okla. –A man who was discovered transporting methamphetamine into Oklahoma in his vehicle’s engine compartment was sentenced Tuesday in federal court, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.
U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan sentenced Juan Luis Atayde, 26, of Stockton, California, to 84 months in federal prison for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Following his release from prison, he will spend four years on supervised release. Atayde pleaded guilty in December 2019.
Atayde admitted that on March 30, 2018, he drove from California to Tulsa with at least 50 grams of methamphetamine concealed in his pickup’s engine area, which he later planned to retrieve and distribute to an individual in Tulsa. Atayde was scheduled to appear in court on June 4, 2018, but instead fled from prosecution. He was later arrested in October 2019 in California on a bench warrant issued by Judge Eagan. At Atayde’s sentencing, the prosecutor noted that the total amount of methamphetamine in the pickup was approximately seven pounds.
“More than a year ago, we brought federal drug trafficking charges against Juan Atayde. Before his trial, he disappeared. But the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Attorney’s Office did not give up,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “We relentlessly pursued him, found him, and held him accountable in a court of law. Now, he is headed to federal prison.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration and Oklahoma Highway Patrol conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joel-lyn A. McCormick and Thomas E. Duncombe prosecuted the case.