Mexican national charged with conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine
A Mexican national living in Taft and a Bakersfield man were indicted by federal grand jury and charged in a conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
Mario Alvarez-Muniz, 49, a citizen of Mexico residing in Taft, and Darrell Leon Jennings, 49, of Bakersfield, were charged with conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, the United States Attorney's Office announced Thursday.
Alvarez-Muniz was also charged with distributing methamphetamine.
According to court documents, Alvarez-Muniz, a self-employed tow truck driver, obtained heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine from Mexico for distribution here.
In a news release, Talbert said Jennings is a self-employed truck driver who assisted Alvarez-Muniz in transporting heroin and cocaine to Bakersfield for shipment to Chicago.
Alvarez-Muniz was arrested in Bakersfield after delivering two pounds of methamphetamine during an undercover drug transaction and orchestrating a shipment of six kilograms of heroin and 11 kilograms of cocaine seized from Jennings’ truck, according to the news release.
Thecase is the product of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the California Highway Patrol, the Bakersfield Police Department, and the Kern County Probation Office. The OCDETF Program was established in 1982 and is the centerpiece of the United States Attorney General’s drug strategy to reduce the availability of drugs by disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations and money laundering organizations and related criminal enterprises. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen Escobar and Jeffrey Spivak are prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Alvarez-Muniz and Jennings face a mandatory minimum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison, along with a $10 million fine. Any sentence, however, would 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. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.