FRESNO, Calif. — Renato Aguilera, 30, of Porterville, was sentenced today to seven years and three months in prison for conspiring to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced. Another member of the conspiracy, Maria Delgado, 31, of Porterville, pleaded guilty today to participating in the drug conspiracy.
According to court documents, acting at the direction of his brother-in-law, Pedro Delgado-Montenegro, 42, a native and citizen of Mexico formerly residing in Porterville, Aguilera delivered 800 fentanyl pills to an undercover officer in exchange for $4,250. Aguilera also transported several thousand fentanyl pills from Los Angeles to Porterville. In addition, at Delgado-Montenegro’s direction, Aguilera delivered over a pound of methamphetamine in two separate transactions to co-defendant Robert Cox, 58, of Porterville, and a third party sent by Cox.
In pleading guilty to the drug conspiracy, Delgado-Montenegro’s niece Maria Delgado admitted that she delivered fentanyl pills to an undercover officer, on behalf of Delgado-Montenegro, on three separate occasions. She also admitted that, at Delgado-Montenegro’s direction, she retrieved 2.2 pounds of heroin from the Los Angeles area that had been smuggled into the United States from Mexico.
Aguilera and Maria Delgado are two of nine defendants, including Delgado-Montenegro, charged in the case. Delgado-Montenegro is a fugitive. Maria Delgado is scheduled to be sentenced on July 22, 2022, and faces a mandatory minimum statutory penalty of five years in prison, a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison, and a $5 million fine. 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. On April 22, 2022, Roberto Cavazos, 43, of Porterville, was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine. Charges are pending against the remaining defendants. The charges are only allegations; 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 with assistance from Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Porterville Police Department, the Coalinga Police Department, and the Fresno Police Department. 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.