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This Meth Ring Stretched From Modesto to Alaska



Photo of a roll of money and dime bags of meth
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A Modesto man was sentenced Monday to 26 years and eight months in prison for his role in a methamphetamine distribution ring reaching to Juneau, Alaska.

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U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced the sentence for 32-year-old Joseph Vasquez Jr. in a news release Monday afternoon.
According to court documents and evidence at trial, Vasquez was part of a drug trafficking ring that operated in the Central Valley, Alaska, and Tacoma, Washington, from 2015 through 2018.

One Year Investigation Into Drug Ring

A multi-agency investigation headed by the FBI snared the drug ring after a one-year investigation. Agents seized 45 pounds of methamphetamine, 4 pounds of heroin, and 3 pounds of cocaine while making multiple arrests.
After a three-day trial in October, a federal jury in Fresno found Vasquez guilty of conspiracy and distribution of methamphetamine.

Five Other Drug Traffickers Pleaded Guilty

Five co-defendants previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
Alecia Trapps, 56, of Manteca, is scheduled to be sentenced on March 30, 2020. Jimmy Brantley, 42, of Manteca, was sentenced to 10 years in prison; Carmen Conejo, 53, of Long Beach, was sentenced to five years’ probation; Ernest Westley, 62, of Modesto, was sentenced to two years, eight months in prison; and Sheena Taylor, 41, of Modesto, was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melanie L. Alsworth and Laurel J. Montoya are prosecuting the case.