April 17, 2021 - FRESNO, Calif. — Eleuterio Rosario Martinez, 49, of Porterville, was sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd to 42 months in prison, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, an investigation into drug trafficking primarily in the Tulare County area led to the arrest and indictment of Martinez and 10 others for a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine between June 7, 2018, and Jan. 19, 2019. Martinez delivered the methamphetamine for the conspiracy. During a one-month period of the conspiracy, Martinez made approximately 258 deliveries of methamphetamine at the direction of co-defendant Manuel Delgado-Montenegro, 48, of Porterville. The deliveries were in quantities of 1 ounce or less and totaled at least 3.7 pounds of methamphetamine.
On Oct. 29, 2020, Hector Antonio Ochoa Ruiz, 39, of Strathmore, pleaded guilty to his participation in the conspiracy and was sentenced on Feb. 19 to seven and a half years in prison. Charges are pending against Delgado-Montenegro and the other eight defendants. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of life in prison and a fine of up to $10 million. 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 case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the Porterville Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathleen A. Servatius and Katherine E. Schuh are prosecuting the case.