Arizona Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Methamphetamine Charge
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – An Arizona man who took part in a methamphetamine conspiracy in March of 2017 pled guilty today to a federal drug charge in Huntington, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Rigoberto Fernandez, Jr., 29, entered his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. United States Attorney Stuart commended the work of the Huntington FBI Drug Task Force and the United States Postal Inspection Service.
“If it fits, it ships,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “But these drug suppliers need to take note that if it fits and ships illegal drugs into West Virginia, we’ll see if we can fit and ship them directly to a prison cell.”
Between March 10, 2017, and March 13, 2017, Fernandez conspired to distribute methamphetamine that was shipped from California to West Virginia. During that period, a confidential informant arranged to purchase 1 pound of methamphetamine from a source in Huntington. The confidential informant was instructed to transferred payment for the drugs to Fernandez in California. The informant also provided Fernandez an address where the drugs were to be shipped. After receiving the payment, Fernandez mailed the drugs from the United States Post Office in Carson, California to the address provided by the informant. Agents seized the package and it was found to contain over 440 grams of methamphetamine. A forensic chemist later analyzed the methamphetamine and found it to be 98% pure.
Fernandez faces a mandatory minimum 10 years and up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced on August 6, 2018.
Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is responsible for the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.
This case is being prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of illegal drugs, including methamphetamine. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of illegal drugs in communities across the Southern District.