On January 21st, 2020

Tulare Man Convicted of Methamphetamine Trafficking California DOJ special agents and CDFW Wardens assisted in investigation of large-scale drug trafficking organization

FRESNO- On January 16, 2020, a federal jury found Jose Roberto Arreola-Serrato, 31, of Tulare, guilty of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

According to court documents and evidence produced at trial, Arreola-Serrato worked with other members of a Tulare County-based conspiracy to supply methamphetamine for a large-scale drug trafficking organization, which was responsible for distributing methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin in California and Washington.

“Law enforcement officers with the California Department of Justice and California Department of Fish and Wildlife assisted in this investigation as part of the Central Valley Marijuana Investigation Team,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.  “Drawing from law enforcement resources at all levels of government can be a very effective way to target criminals in our state.  Many drug dealers are off the streets and in prison as a result of this investigation.”

As the result of investigation, law enforcement seized a large amount of controlled substances, including 14 kilograms of methamphetamine, 2 kilograms of cocaine, and 1 kilogram of heroin.

Ten co-defendants charged in October 2015 pleaded guilty to various drug charges and have been sentenced to the following prison terms:

  • Olegario Trujillo, 33, of Fresno, 20 years;
  • Edgar Valencia-Farias, of Tulare, four years;
  • Gladys Ramos, 34, of Woodlake, four years;
  • Carlos Tafoya-Ramos, 22, of Woodlake, six years;
  • Marcos Diaz, 23, of Madera, 11 years;
  • Ramiro Salas Munoz, 37, of Lindsay, time served (10 months);
  • Arthur Allen Walker, 32, of Poplar, three years reduced to time served;
  • Francisca Torres-Guisar, 51, of Visalia, three years;
  • Gary Passmore, 65, of Washington state, three years and nine months in prison;
  • Jorge Martinez Jr., 23, of Tulare, four years.

Arrest warrants remain outstanding for Arnold Martinez Valencia, 39, of Woodlake, and Pedro Delgado-Montenegro, 36, of Porterville.

This case is the product of a Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) investigation conducted by the Central Valley Marijuana Investigation Team (CVMIT). CVMIT was composed of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), California Department of Justice-Bureau of Investigation, California Fish and Wildlife, Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, Kings County Sheriff’s Office, and Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathleen Servatius and Mira Chernick are prosecuting the case.

Arreola-Serrato is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on April 10, 2020. Arreola-Serrato faces a mandatory minimum statutory penalty of 10 years and up to life in prison.

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