Ten Indicted for Fentanyl Trafficking
SACRAMENTO, CA (STL.News) A federal grand jury returned an 11-count indictment against members of a drug trafficking organization, charging them with fentanyl trafficking and other related offenses, United States Attorney McGregor Scott announced.
Jose Lopez-Zamora, 26; Leonardo Flores Beltran, 29; Christian Anthony Romero, 25; Joaquin Sotelo Valdez, 24; Sandro Escobedo, 32; Erika Zamora Rojo, 45; and Alejandro Tello, 22; all of Sacramento; and Jason Lee, 48, of Sparks, Nevada, and Rudi Flores, 27, of Manteca, are charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine as well as either fentanyl distribution or possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. Jose Aguilar Saucedo, 22, of Sacramento, is charged with three counts of fentanyl distribution.
According to court documents, Jose Lopez-Zamora was the U.S.-based leader of a drug trafficking organization that was responsible for importing from Mexico and distributing in the United States tens of thousands of fentanyl-laced counterfeit oxycodone (M-30) pills, as well as cocaine and methamphetamine. Law enforcement seized more than 20,000 of these pills during the investigation. Wiretapped calls show awareness by at least some co-conspirators that these fentanyl pills had been responsible for multiple overdoses and overdose deaths in the area.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Yuba-Sutter Narcotic and Gang Enforcement Task Force (NET-5), the California Highway Patrol, the Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force (BINTF), the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT), the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, the Sacramento Police Department, the Roseville Police Department, the Manteca Police Department, the Yuba City Police Department, and the West Sacramento Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney David W. Spencer is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Aguilar Saucedo faces a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison and the other defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.