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A 23-year-old Mendota man was sentenced to five years in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced Friday.

Jose Navarette-Mendez pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana to members of La Mara Salvatrucha (MS‑13) in Mendota.

MS-13 is a violent criminal street gang that engages in racketeering activity, including murder, kidnapping, extortion, and drug trafficking.

According to court documents, Navarette-Mendez is a member of MS-13.

Seven of Navarette-Mendez’s co-defendants have previously been sentenced, and two additional co-defendants have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. The remaining six co-defendants are scheduled for a status conference on April 30.

The investigation of the drug trafficking operation was conducted by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

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