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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nevada

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

California Man who was Supplying Pure Methamphetamine to Reno, Nev. Area Sentenced to 19½ Years in Prison

     RENO, Nev. - A man who supervised and directed an illegal drug distribution operation in Reno from his home in southern California, was sentenced on Monday, Oct. 20, to 19½ years in federal prison and five years of supervised release, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden, for the District of Nevada.

Rosendo Salgado, 42, of Montclair, Calif., who was convicted by a jury on July 18 of one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, one count of money laundering conspiracy, and one count of illegal use of a communication facility, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Larry R. Hicks.

“This defendant was no amateur drug trafficker and made a personal choice to engage in the trafficking of large amounts of almost pure methamphetamine over an extended period of time,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden.  “He showed his leadership of, experience and command of the conspiracy by using lower-ranking members to make hand-to-hand sales and use of coded language to track sales.”

According to court records and evidence admitted at trial, beginning in January 2013 pursuant to a court authorized wiretap, law enforcement officials intercepted telephone calls of Salgado discussing the methamphetamine distribution operation in the Reno area with co-conspirators.  The investigation continued, with Salgado observed meeting his co-conspirators in Reno.  On May 12, 2013, officials discovered from additional intercepted telephone calls of Salgado’s telephone, that a supply of methamphetamine from Salgado would be arriving that day in Reno via a vehicle courier, with the drugs secreted in the back door of the vehicle.  Investigators conducted surveillance outside the Reno home where the methamphetamine was delivered, and observed two co-conspirators removing a panel from the back passenger door of a white Toyota bearing California license plates.  That evening, investigators executed a federal search warrant at the home and recovered a firearm and two pounds of pure methamphetamine. Two days later, Salgado was arrested and charged by federal criminal complaint in California.

At sentencing, the court found that Salgado was an organizer, leader, manager or supervisor of the methamphetamine distribution conspiracy based upon the evidence, including intercepted calls, revealing Salgado’s instruction to his co-conspirators on a number of operational matters, including how to locate the concealed drugs that had been delivered to them, how much to sell the drugs for, where to deposit the drug proceeds, and how to use coded language to keep tallies of sales.  The co-conspirators who resided in Reno were prosecuted and convicted by the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys James E. Keller and Megan M. Rachow and investigated by the DEA, Northern Nevada High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, and Washoe County Sheriff’s Department.

Updated February 4, 2015