Feds Charge Wasco State Prison Guard in Drug Conspiracy
A Wasco State Prison guard and a Minnesota man have been charged with trying to buy 40 pounds of methamphetamine and more than 4 pounds of cocaine.
Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged Joseph Andrade of Bakersfield and Leonard Velazquez-Martinez of Minnesota with conspiracy to possess drugs with intent to distribute them.
If convicted, they could each face up to life in prison and a $10 million fine.
They were arrested Monday in Kern County. It’s unclear whether they have attorneys.
Allegedly Tried To Buy Drugs From Undercover Officer
Authorities say the men tried to buy the drugs from someone they believed was a drug supplier but who was an undercover law enforcement officer.
According to a Department of Justice news release, Andrade drove a vehicle registered to him, and Velazquez occupied the front passenger seat. Velazquez directed the undercover officer’s attention to a grocery bag containing money, which was on the passenger-side floorboard of the vehicle. The defendants were subsequently arrested.
Their arrests stemmed from an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Scott is prosecuting the case.