FRESNO – On April 4, 2019, a federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment against three men accused of making and selling illegal drugs in Madera.
According to court documents, Oscar Rene Marrot-Garcia 26, of Chowchilla rented a rural home in Madera in December 2018 and set up a methamphetamine lab there. He and Mexican nationals Jose Monge Ponce, 26, and Francisco Alcantar-Miranda, 30, allegedly manufactured methamphetamine and stored large quantities of other drugs at the unoccupied Madera residence. At the end of January 2019, law enforcement officers served a search warrant at the residence and found all three men there. They also found:
- 22.4 pounds of methamphetamine in solution,
- 14 pounds of finished methamphetamine,
- 1 pound of cocaine,
- 2 pounds of heroin,
- 25 pounds of marijuana,
- and a handgun with a fully loaded magazine.
The indictment charges the men with conspiring to manufacture, to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, and maintaining drug premises.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team (MADNET) and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) team, which consists of agents from Homeland Security Investigations, California Department of Justice, California Highway Patrol, Fresno, the Sheriffs’ Offices of Tulare, and King Counties, and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen A. Escobar is prosecuting the case.
“Investigating cases such as this can be very dangerous for law enforcement officers,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Seizing the amount of drugs that agents discovered and putting a stop to the manufacturing and selling that was allegedly taking place by these suspects, had to have put a dent in the supply of street drugs available to users and that has to have a positive effect on surrounding communities.”
If convicted of the drug conspiracy, manufacturing, and possession with the intent to distribute charges, the defendants face a mandatory minimum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison, along with a $10 million fine. As to maintaining drug premises, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The defendants may also be responsible to pay any cleanup costs associated with the disposal of the hazardous materials.