A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment Thursday against Saul Giovanni Solis Ontiveros, 24, of Pixley, and Eduardo Garcia, 20, of McFarland, charging them with conspiring to distribute more than 160 pounds of methamphetamine and approximately 300 fentanyl pills, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, the defendants were stopped in a routine traffic stop in Pixley. Through the rear windows of the car, officers saw two buckets with a white crystalline substance on the rim of the lids. Eventually, further searches of the car and two residences located more than 160 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 200 pounds of liquid methamphetamine, and approximately 300 pills containing fentanyl. Inside both residences law enforcement officers found active methamphetamine conversion laboratories.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the California Department of Justice. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Schuh is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Ontiveros and Garcia face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. 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.