Trio arrested in Grass Valley drug bust plead not guilty in federal court
Three Grass Valley residents pleaded not guilty to federal drug charges last week, but remain in custody after detention orders were issued.
Patricia Guizar, 34, and Jorge Antonio Sandoval Ramirez, 31, were arrested Oct. 30 by FBI and DEA agents during a traffic stop. Ian Franco Molina Campos, 23, was arrested the next day after agents served a search warrant at his apartment on Mill Street and uncovered suspected black tar heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl and marijuana, according to federal court records.
On Nov. 21, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against the three defendants.
Guizar has been charged with conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, distribution of more than 500 grams of meth, and possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of meth.
Ramirez faces charges of 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.
Campos was charged with conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, and possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of meth. All three suspects face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in prison if convicted,.
Guizar, Ramirez and Campos remain in custody in Sacramento without bail, and are set to return to federal court in Sacramento on Jan. 16.
During an investigation launched earlier this year by the DEA, FBI and the Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Program, the trio 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 to meet with a confidential informant to sell 4 ounces of heroin, which she did on July 25. On Aug. 8, Guizar and Ramirez met with Campos, who handed Ramirez a silver-colored box believed to contain meth, the 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 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.
According to court records, Campos told agents that Guizar and Ramirez had brought him a backpack containing meth on Oct. 27. During a search of his residence, a duffel bag was found under Campos’ 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 Campos’ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4236.
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