Whittier Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy

A syringe with ampoules, white powder, a five-dollar bill with bullets and a gun lying on a black glass background. Dangerous bad habits, addiction to drugs and gambling. Crime because of drugs.

FRESNO, Calif. —Antonio Castellanos, 38, of Whittier, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Castellanos, Genaro Serrato-Calles, aka Alejandro, aka Meno, 51; Antonio Valencia-Hernandez, aka Tito, 65, both of Modesto; and Jose Reyes-Pineda, 48, of Anaheim were charged with conspiring over a two-year period to distribute methamphetamine in Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. In pleading guilty, Castellanos admitted to working with individuals in Mexico to distribute methamphetamine in the United States and, on one occasion, arranging for the shipment of over 20 pounds of methamphetamine to Serrato-Calles.

Castellanos is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd on Oct. 18. Castellanos faces a statutory mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison, and a fine of up to $10 million. 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.

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A jury trial is set for Serrato-Calles, Valencia-Hernandez, and Reyes-Pineda for Sept. 8. They are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Homeland Security Investigations; the Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force; the San Joaquin County Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force; the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency; and the Orange County Sheriff’s Special Investigations Bureau. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Escobar is prosecuting the case.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

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