Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney
Eastern District of California
One of 51 Charged in Meth Distribution Ring
United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that JORGE ALBERT REYES, 30, of Sacramento, made his first appearance before District Judge Garland E. Burrell, Jr., charged with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and distribution of methamphetamine.
REYES is one of 51 defendants charged in nine related indictments that stem from 13-month federal investigation into a drug distribution network with connections to six different states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Alaska, Georgia, and California. Drugs seizures occurred in California, Alaska, Illinois, and Georgia. REYES is alleged to have led one of the four drug rings federal and state investigators dismantled in August of 2008.
As a result of this investigation, officers seized several pounds of methamphetamine (the ring leaders are charged with conspiring to distribute at least 15 to 22 pounds each), more than 15 firearms, six marijuana grow houses, 13,000 MDMA (Ecstasy) pills, and a huge methamphetamine lab capable of producing 10 to 20 pounds of methamphetamine every 24 to 48 hours. Investigators seized approximately $890,000 in alleged criminal assets over the course of the investigation.
According to United States Assistant Attorney Michael Beckwith, who is prosecuting the case, REYES has been a federal fugitive since August 13, 2008. Members of the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Services worked closely with both U.S. the U.S. Marshals and Mexican law enforcement officials to ensure REYES’s arrest in December 2009 in the town of San Francisco del Rincon in Guanajuato, Mexico.
If convicted, REYES faces the maximum statutory penalty of life in prison, a $4,000,000 fine, and five-years to life of supervised release. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.