Daniel Rios, 33, of Kern County, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, between March 1, 2016, and June 29, 2016, Rios conspired with others in Earlimart to distribute methamphetamine. On June 14, 2016, he distributed approximately 14.7 kilograms of methamphetamine to a co-conspirator. When law enforcement agents arrested Rios and other co-conspirators, they seized approximately 14.7 kilograms of methamphetamine, three firearms, multiple magazines and ammunition, and over $16,000 in cash.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, the Southern Tri-County Task Force of the Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the California Department of Motor Vehicles Investigations, the Kern County Probation Department, and the California Highway Patrol. Assistant United States Attorney Brian K. Delaney is prosecuting the case.
Rios is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on December 18, 2017. Rios faces a maximum statutory penalty of life 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.