For Immediate Release
California Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Trading Cocaine for Firearms
MEDFORD, Ore. – Gonzalo Manzo, Jr., 33, of Fresno, California, pleaded guilty today to one count each of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to court documents, in 2017, Manzo coordinated the shipment of a kilogram of cocaine from California to Southern Oregon. Manzo and his co-conspirators sold the cocaine to undercover agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in Oregon in exchange for firearms and $21,000 in cash. Manzo intended for the firearms and cash to be transported back to California but agents arrested Manzo and his co-conspirators and the firearms were seized by law enforcement.
Manzo faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, a $5 million fine and four years of supervised release. He will be sentenced on January 24, 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken. Co-defendants Jonathan Ochoa and Rodolfo Quevedo also face criminal charges; their cases are pending in federal court.
The case was investigated by ATF and is being prosecuted by Nathan J. Lichvarcik and Adam E. Delph, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.
The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
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