Two men facing prison, deportation after pleading guilty to drug charges

FRESNO, Calif. - Two men from Mexico are facing prison and deportation after pleading guilty to drug charges.

Miguel Sanchez-Mendoza (Sanchez), 46, of Mexico, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine.

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According to court documents, Sanchez and co-defendant Gamaliel Salas-Mendoza, aka Rene Salas Mendoza (Salas), 38, also of Mexico, maintained a stash house in Bakersfield from where law enforcement officers seized seven pounds of methamphetamine, one and a half pounds of cocaine, a half-pound of heroin, all packaged for sale. In addition to the drugs, officers found digital scales, cutting agents, a kilogram press, and $9,483 in cash.

Salas has requested a jury trial, which is currently set for July 8. 

Sanchez is scheduled to be sentenced April 28. Sanchez faces 21 years to life in prison and a $10 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. In addition, both men are subject to deportation following the completion of any prison term imposed.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Kern County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Enforcement Team, Kern County Sheriff’s Office Major Violators Unit, and the California Multijurisdictional Methamphetamine Enforcement Team. Assistant United States Attorney Karen A. Escobar is prosecuting the case.

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