1 of 3 Grass Valley residents in federal drug trafficking case pleads guilty | TheUnion.com

1 of 3 Grass Valley residents in federal drug trafficking case pleads guilty

One of three Grass Valley residents facing federal drug trafficking charges after being arrested last fall has pleaded guilty to one count of possessing with intent to distribute, and conspiring to distribute, a controlled substance, U.S. District Court records state.

Ian Franco Molina Campos, 24, is set to be sentenced on Jan. 14 and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, court records state. Part of the plea agreement stipulates sentencing at the low end, due to his minor role and if he accepts responsibility for that role.

He remained Tuesday in custody in Sacramento County without bail, jail records state. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 15.

Codefendants Patricia Guizar, 35, and Jorge Antonio Sandoval Ramirez, 32, have pleaded not guilty to their charges and are set to return to federal court in Sacramento on Dec. 17, court records state. Sandoval Ramirez remained in custody without bail, while Guizar has been released on a $50,000 bond.

Guizar and Ramirez have each been charged with conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, distribution of more than 500 grams of meth, and possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of meth. Guizar faces an additional count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, court records show.

The trio were arrested during an investigation launched last year by the DEA, FBI and the Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Program, after they were linked to a drug trafficking organization involving a meth and heroin supplier for the greater Sacramento area, court records state.

The supplier, a man believed to live in Mexico, sent Guizar in July 2019 to meet with a confidential informant to sell 4 ounces of heroin. Guizar and Ramirez then met with Campos outside his Mill Street apartment, and Campos handed Ramirez a box believed to contain meth, a criminal complaint stated. Guizar and Ramirez subsequently sold the informant nearly 2 pounds of meth for $4,400.

Guizar and Ramirez were arrested Oct. 30, 2019, after the California Highway Patrol, at the request of the DEA, made a traffic stop on Interstate 5 near Patterson. During a search of their vehicle the CHP officers found 20 pounds of suspected meth, the complaint stated.

Authorities arrested Campos the following day.

Campos told agents that Guizar and Ramirez had brought him a backpack containing meth. During a search of Campos’ residence, a duffel bag was found under his bed that contained three bags of suspected crystal meth, 8 ounces of suspected heroin, individual packets of suspected fentanyl, and marijuana. A backpack found inside his closet contained another bag of meth. The total amount of meth found was approximately 5 pounds, an affidavit stated.

Evidence of drug sales found during the search included $2,500 in cash, which Campos reportedly told investigators was the proceeds from marijuana trafficking.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email lizk@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.

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