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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 26, 2017

Las Vegas Man Sentenced To Nearly Six Years For Possession With Intent To Distribute Heroin And Methamphetamine

LAS VEGAS, Nev.— A Las Vegas man was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Robert C. Jones to 70 months in prison and four years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute 400 grams of heroin and methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden of the District of Nevada.

“The defendant concealed the drugs in his vehicle with the intent to avoid law enforcement detection,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “We remain committed to working with the DEA and other law enforcement partners in keeping dangerous drugs off our streets.”

Paulino Rafael Quirazco-Valencia, 30, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Co-defendant Arnold Gutierrez, 30, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty to two-counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Gutierrez was sentenced to 24 months in prison per count to run concurrent. They were indicted on Feb. 9, 2016.

According to court documents, in January 2016, during an ongoing investigation into the distribution of drugs, DEA Special Agents observed Quirazco-Valencia and Gutierrez manipulating the driver’s side area inside a vehicle parked at an apartment complex and acting in a manner consistent with drug trafficking. They drove off in the vehicle and were stopped by law enforcement. After obtaining consent to search the vehicle, officers located approximately 277 grams of heroin in the center console and a Sig Sauer .38 caliber handgun underneath the front middle seat. The drugs were found in colored balloons and baggies of various sizes consistent with drug distribution. Quirazco-Valencia was arrested and stated that the drugs in the vehicle belonged to him and he was delivering them to a customer. He consented to the search of his residence. The total amount of drugs and money seized from the traffic stop and residence was 395.4 grams of heroin, 4.6 grams of methamphetamine, and $19,290 in cash.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Jaroch.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated January 26, 2017