Feds Indict 7 Valley Men Accused of Dealing Hundreds of Pounds of Meth, Fentanyl
A federal grand jury returned a 24-count drug indictment today against seven Valley men, charging them with drug trafficking offenses.
According to court documents, between October 2021 and October 2022, the defendants distributed over 130 pounds of methamphetamine to a DEA confidential source.
In October, agents uncovered an active methamphetamine lab in Tulare County, that allegedly was used to convert liquid meth into crystal form for distribution. Large quantities of crystal and liquid methamphetamine were seized in the laboratory, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.
In total, the release said law enforcement seized approximately 500 pounds of crystal meth and approximately 500 gallons of liquid meth from the lab.
The indictments were announced by U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.
The indictment charges Cesar Losoya-Castrejon, 46, of Tulare, with two counts of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl, twelve counts of distribution of methamphetamine and fentanyl, one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and one count of using a cellphone in aid of racketeering;
Arturo Farias-Zepeda, 52, of Atwater, is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, three counts of distribution of methamphetamine, and one count of using a cellphone in aid of racketeering;
Juan Cesar Valencia-Zepeda, 38, of Merced, is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and one count of distribution of methamphetamine;
Roberto Soria-Cuevas, 62, of Yettem in Tulare County, is charged with one count of distribution of methamphetamine;
Ricardo Rivas-Arredondo, 31, of Earlimart, Tulare County, is charged with one count of distribution of methamphetamine;
Jose Adan Chaidez Ojeda, 38, of Earlimart, is charged with one count of distribution of methamphetamine and one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; and
Julio Cesar Vargas-Birrueta, 30, of Yettem, is charged with one count of distribution of fentanyl and one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.
If convicted, the defendants face a range of maximum sentences, including up to life in prison. All of the defendants also face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The case is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the San Joaquin County Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force, and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, the Tulare County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Unit (HIDTA).
Assistant U.S. Attorney Antonio J. Pataca is prosecuting the case.