FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury indicted three Madera residents today, charging Emilio Hernandez Yesca, 27; Jorge Perez, 24; and Jorge Luis Hernandez Gonzalez, 30, with trafficking fentanyl and methamphetamine, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
An associate of the trafficking ring, Eli Quiroz Hernandez, 26, also of Madera, was indicted in a related case on April 1.
According to court documents, the charges arose out of a months-long investigation into a drug trafficking organization. At the center of the organization were Hernandez and Perez. Between October 2020 and March 2021, the two conspired to distribute thousands of fentanyl pills and pounds of methamphetamine. As part of their plan, they sold 1,400 fentanyl pills in two separate drug deals in October and November 2020. Then, in February 2021, they sold a pound of methamphetamine. On March 2, law enforcement stopped the drug-dealing partners in a vehicle on their way to deliver 5,000 fentanyl pills and 3 pounds of methamphetamine. A loaded firearm was found under the driver’s seat of the car. The two other defendants are charged with selling methamphetamine: Eli Quiroz Hernandez sold a quarter pound of methamphetamine on December 10, 2020, and Jorge Gonzalez distributed a pound of methamphetamine in February 2021.
This case is the product of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Chowchilla Police Department, the Madera Police Department, and the Madera Narcotics Enforcement Team. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin J. Gilio is prosecuting the case.
If convicted of the charged offenses, Perez, Hernandez and Gonzalez each face a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison up to a maximum of life in prison, and a $10 million fine. Eli Quiroz Hernandez faces a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison up to 40 years in prison, and a $5 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.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
This case is part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (S.O.S.) a program designed to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high impact areas as well as identifying wholesale distribution networks and international and domestic suppliers. In July 2018, the Justice Department announced the creation of S.O.S., which is being implemented in the Eastern District of California and nine other federal districts.