Turlock City News

Turlock City News

Turlock, Modesto Men Sentenced for California-Hawaii Drug Smuggling Ring

Courtesy of DEA

The Department of Justice has announced that a Turlock man has been sentenced to a year in prison for his role as a money courier in a methamphetamine trafficking ring between the Central Valley and Hawaii.

Guillermo Paredes, Jr., 26, of Turlock, was sentenced to 12 months in prison on Monday for conspiracy to smuggle bulk cash, reports the US Attorney’s Office.

At the same hearing, Armando Mendoza, 21, of Modesto, was sentenced to 46 months in prison for possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

Miguel Leontapia, Eduardo Leon, and Gilberto Leon, who have all been convicted for their respective roles in the drug smuggling ring, are expected to be sentenced on March 2.

According to court documents, Mendoza and Paredes were involved with methamphetamine trafficking from the Central Valley to Hawaii. On Aug. 8, 2012, Mendoza took a package containing a pound and a half of methamphetamine to a shipping facility for delivery to Hawaii. Law enforcement, however, intercepted the package.

On Aug. 16, 2012, Paredes and a companion were arrested at the Honolulu airport while waiting for a return flight to California. Paredes had about $42,000 cash concealed on his person and in his luggage while his companion had about $29,000 cash similarly concealed. Law enforcement seized that cash.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency and the Modesto Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Rooney prosecuted the case.

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