A Sacramento man, heavily armed and heavily involved in a large meth-trafficking ring, was sentenced to prison as a result of a case investigated, in part, by California Department of Justice (Cal-MMET). On April 8, 2014, a judge sentenced Jose Mario Medrano, 36, to nearly 22 years for his involvement in trafficking large amounts of methamphetamine in at least three states, including California.
According to court documents, Medrano was a member of a Mexican-based drug trafficking organization that operated in California, Nevada, and Illinois and, on a monthly basis, distributed up to 40 pounds of methamphetamine.
The investigation resulted in the seizure of more than 145 pounds of methamphetamine, extensive drug ledgers, numerous firearms, bullet-proof vests, and more than $145,000 in cash.
When Medrano was arrested, he was driving a car with a woman and her eight-year-old daughter inside. Inside the car, investigators found 15 pounds of methamphetamine and a loaded 9 mm pistol inside two hidden compartments. Following Medrano's arrest, investigators searched his house in Sacramento and found more than four pounds of methamphetamine, more than $20,000 in cash, four firearms, ammunition, four ballistic vests, pay-owe sheets, packaging materials, scales and a money counter.
"This was no small-time drug dealer," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) which represents special agents in California Department of Justice. "This type of person poses a huge threat to the lives of everyone around him and to the law enforcement officers who put everything on the line to bust wide open what this drug trafficker was up to. This case certainly illustrates the dangers law enforcement officers are up against."
The case involving Medrano was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force, and the California Department of Justice (Cal-MMET). Assistant United States Attorney Michael M. Beckwith prosecuted the case.
"You can only hope that this investigation, arrest, prosecution and sentence put a dent in California's drug trafficking," said Barcelona. " But we all recognize the need for more DOJ special agents to combat this growing problem."