On July 12th, 2023

Kern County Man Sentenced to 11 Years for Methamphetamine Distribution The California Department of Justice assisted with investigation

“The work that local, state and federal law enforcement officers do in the war against drug trafficking is immense.  It is a dangerous and constant job, but helps to elevate our communities and keep us safe.  We are grateful to the officers and agents who took part in Operation Red Reaper to wipe out this large-scale drug trafficking operation.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona

FRESNO— On July 10, 2023, Ernesto Zibray, 34, of Delano, was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison for distribution of more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.

According to court documents, Zibray was charged as part of Operation Red Reaper, a multi-agency operation that resulted in three federal cases charging a total of 23 individuals. The months-long investigation uncovered evidence that the Nuestra Familia prison gang and its associates were responsible for large-scale trafficking of methamphetamine and other controlled substances, as well as various firearms offenses and other violent crimes in Kings and Tulare Counties.

On May 6, 2019, Zibray, who was on probation for another drug trafficking offense, distributed 2 pounds of methamphetamine to a co-defendant in Delano. Moments later, investigators conducted a traffic stop on the car in which the co-defendant was traveling, searched the car, and found the methamphetamine.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Kings County Gang Task Force, the California Department of Justice, the California Highway Patrol, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin J. Gilio prosecuted the case.

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