FRESNO- On October 11, 2022, Jonathan Gallegos, 32, of Ivanhoe, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana and using a firearm during, and in relation to, a drug trafficking crime.
According to court documents, the charges arose from a long-term investigation that uncovered evidence of a scheme involving the trade of illegal drugs sourced in Mexico and California for firearms sourced in Texas.
In 2021, a team of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers partnered in an investigation into the Tulare County Surenos Street Gang. Part of the investigation focused on Gallegos and his associates, who were involved in shipping illegal drugs and firearms across state lines.
Between April 6, 2021, and Dec. 17, 2021, Gallegos and associates shipped kilograms of marijuana and methamphetamine from post offices in Central California to residences in San Antonio, Texas. Gallegos’s drug-buying customers shipped firearms back to Gallegos and his associates in California, as payment for the narcotics they had received. Gallegos is a felon who cannot lawfully possess firearms.
“Thanks to a number of brave law enforcement officers on the local, state and federal level, the illegal activity of this drug trafficker has come to an end. The law-abiding citizens of this state are grateful for the work that is being done to protect the communities in which we live,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, the Tulare County Area Regencies Gun Enforcement Team, the Visalia Police Department, the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation, the California Highway Patrol’s Special Operations Unit, and the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.
Gallegos is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ana de Alba on Jan. 17, 2023. Gallegos faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years up to life in prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.