Three illegal aliens living in Los Molinos, Calif., were found guilty by a federal grand jury with multiple counts of methamphetamine and heroin trafficking on Thursday, Sept. 27, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.
The three Mexican nationals are Miguel Alverez Cervantes, 53, Maria Cervantes-Echevarria, 34, and Marta Jiminez Lopez, 26. They were indicted by a federal grand jury on eight counts involving conspiracy to distribute meth and possessing meth and heroin for distribution. Cervantes-Echevarria and Lopez were further charged with “possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime,” said the U.S. Attorney’s Office in a statement.
According to court documents, Maria Cervantes-Echevarria and Marta Lopez used their home in Los Molinos as a stash location for narcotics, firearms, and cash. Court records allege that in January 2018, the two women delivered a spare tire to a third party that was later found to contain approximately 22 pounds of methamphetamine. In addition, an undercover agent purchased over three pounds of methamphetamine from Miguel Cervantes during three controlled buys in August and September 2018.
“When agents searched Cervantes-Echevarria and Lopez’s home on September 17, 2018, they found three handguns and over $44,000 in cash in the master bedroom,” reads the statement. “Agents found over 34 pounds of methamphetamine, three pounds of heroin, and an AR-15-style rifle elsewhere on the property.”
If convicted of the conspiracy charge or any of the narcotics charges, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. If convicted of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug‑trafficking crime, Cervantes-Echevarria and Lopez each face a mandatory five-year term in prison, which would run consecutive to any other sentence imposed in this case.
Any sentence 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 several variables. These charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.