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Hanford Drug Lord Says Good-Bye to Escalade, Hello to Federal Prison
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By Bill McEwen, News Director
Published 11 months ago on
May 31, 2023

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Convicted drug trafficker Florentino Gutierrez, 41, of Hanford won’t be cruising the streets in his Cadillac Escalade anymore.

Gutierrez received a sentence of 21 years and 10 months on Tuesday in Fresno federal court for his methamphetamine trafficking convictions.

U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced the sentence in a news release.

Operation Red Reaper

Gutierrez was one of 21 drug traffickers charged federally in Operation Red Reaper, a multi-agency investigation into the criminal activities of the Kings and Tulare County Nuestra Familia prison gang.

According to court documents, in April and May 2019, Gutierrez conspired with others to traffic meth. Gutierrez’s plan included using his Cadillac Escalade as collateral to purchase the drugs.

His co-conspirators then traveled from Hanford to Bakersfield, where they picked up the meth, prosecutors said. On the return trip, investigators stopped the car, searched it, and seized five bags containing more than 2 kilos of meth.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin J. Gilio is prosecuting the case.

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Bill McEwen,
News Director
Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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