MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Gregorio Arreola Mendoza, 34, a citizen of Mexico found in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 42 months in prison for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Arreola Mendoza pleaded guilty to this charge on November 2, 2021.
On February 24, 2021, a trooper with the Wisconsin State Patrol stopped a vehicle on Interstate 94 in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin. While talking to the driver, later identified as Arreola Mendoza, the trooper smelled the odor of marijuana and alcohol coming from the car. He also saw an open bottle of beer on the floor between the passenger’s legs. During an interview, the passenger, identified as Jose A. Mendoza-Cortez, admitted to having marijuana in the center console. The trooper searched the car and saw marijuana debris on the floor and a marijuana blunt in the center cup holder. As the officer continued his search, he found 20 plastic bags in the trunk, each containing a crystalline substance. The total amount of the substance from the 20 bags weighed approximately 20 pounds and tested positive for methamphetamine.
During a post-arrest interview, Arreola Mendoza admitted that someone paid him and Mendoza-Cortez to transport the drugs from Minnesota to Ohio.
At sentencing, Judge Conley noted that Arreola Mendoza and Mendoza-Cortez were entrusted with a significant amount of methamphetamine. Judge Conley also stressed that such a large amount of drugs would have caused a staggering amount of damage to the community.
Judge Conley sentenced Mendoza-Cortez to 48 months in prison on March 24, 2022.
The charges against Arreola Mendoza and Mendoza-Cortez were the result of an investigation conducted by the Wisconsin State Patrol, West Central Drug Task Force, Eau Claire County District Attorney’s Office, and Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chadwick M. Elgersma prosecuted this case.