FRESNO- On May 20, 2019, Jose Manuel Sotelo-Mendoza (Sotelo), 27, of Ceres, was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 15 pounds of crystal methamphetamine.
Sotelo’s sentence follows his guilty plea earlier this year. According to court documents, Sotelo and his co-defendant Oscar Ivan Salazar-Avalos (Salazar), 29, of Mexico, delivered 15 pounds of crystal methamphetamine to an undercover officer in Delano after Salazar negotiated with the officer for the delivery of the drug for $3,400 per pound for a total of $51,000. Salazar and Sotelo met the source of supply in Castaic in the northern part of Los Angeles County to obtain the methamphetamine. Salazar was recently sentenced to six years and nine months in prison for the drug conspiracy.
“California Department of Justice special agents assisted with this investigation as part of the Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Undercover operations such as this can be hugely dangerous and are an example of law enforcement officers very much in harm’s way as they work to make California safer.”
The Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force includes law enforcement officers of Homeland Security Investigations, the California Highway Patrol, the Bureau of Investigation of the California Department of Justice, the Fresno Police Department, and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.