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Press Release

California Man Is Sentenced To 24 Years For Trafficking 33+ Kilograms of Methamphetamine And 3+ Kilograms of Fentanyl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad Jr. sentenced Juan Octavio Iribe Laveaga, 35, of Norwalk, California, to 292 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for trafficking large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Charlotte District Office, and Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents and court proceedings, investigators identified Laveaga as a California-based trafficker, in charge of a drug trafficking organization (DTO) responsible for distributing multiple kilograms of methamphetamine from California into North Carolina. Court records show that agents working in an undercover capacity made arrangements to purchase multiple kilograms of methamphetamine from Laveaga’s DTO. During the investigation, Laveaga’s couriers transported approximately 20 kilograms of methamphetamine from California to the Charlotte area. On other occasions, Laveaga’s DTO mailed packages containing methamphetamine from California. After seizing approximately 23 kilograms of methamphetamine from Laveaga’s DTO during the investigation, in February 2022, agents arrested Laveaga and executed a search warrant at his residence in California, seizing an additional 10 kilograms of methamphetamine, nearly four kilograms of fentanyl, and two firearms.

On May 9, 2022, Laveaga pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and aiding and abetting.

Laveaga is in federal custody. He will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney King thanked the DEA, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, and the Riverside County (California) Sheriff’s Office for their investigation of the case. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Taylor G. Stout of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.

Updated October 25, 2022

Drug Trafficking