Sacramento, California - A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment today against Ausencio Alvarez Cortez, 41, of Stockton, and Angel Ismael Ramirez, 30, of Los Angeles, charging them jointly with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, and charging Cortez separately with distributing methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, on October 26, a confidential source bought 3 pounds of methamphetamine from Cortez. Following that purchase, on November 12, the source met again with Cortez, who was accompanied by Ramirez, ostensibly to execute a transaction for 50 pounds of methamphetamine. When Cortez showed the source the requested methamphetamine, however, law enforcement officers converged on the scene, arresting Cortez and Ramirez, and seizing the 50 pounds of methamphetamine as well as a loaded semi-automatic handgun from the back seat of Cortez’s pickup truck.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the San Joaquin Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force, and the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney James Conolly is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, both Cortez and Ramirez face a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine, for each of the narcotics charges, all of which have a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison. 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 defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.