Modesto Man Charged with Drug Trafficking and Illegal Firearms Possession

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Hand gun

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment today against Reymundo Jose Mendez, 40, of Modesto, charging him with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of firearms, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, officers began investigating Mendez for suspected drug sales and firearms possession in December 2021. During a search warrant executed at the Arrow Inn in Modesto on Jan. 25, 2022, officers located two loaded firearms in Mendez’s pants pockets, and another loaded shotgun in his motel room. Officers also located methamphetamine, suspected fentanyl, and two digital scales in the room.

This case is the product of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, and the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine E. Schuh is prosecuting the case.

If convicted of the methamphetamine distribution charge, Mendez faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. If convicted of the possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking offense, Mendez faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of up to life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. If convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. 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 defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.