DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of California

For Immediate Release

Monday, August 9, 2021
Phillip A. Talbert (Acting)
, United States Attorney

Modesto Men Plead Guilty to Drug Conspiracy

FRESNO, Calif. — Modesto residents Genaro Serrato Calles, 49, and Antonio Valencia Hernandez, 65, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and heroin, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Serrato and Valencia, along with Antonio Castellanos, 38, of Whittier, and Jose Reyes Pineda, 48, of Anaheim, were charged with conspiring over a two-year period to distribute methamphetamine and heroin in Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. In pleading guilty, Serrato acknowledged that he supplied heroin to Valencia for distribution and also had Valencia pick up about 11 pounds of methamphetamine from Reyes in Anaheim for distribution in Modesto. Serrato also made arrangements with Castellanos to store and repackage for distribution about 20 pounds of methamphetamine at a stash house in Modesto.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Homeland Security Investigations; the Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force; the San Joaquin County Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force; the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency; and the Orange County Sheriff’s Special Investigations Bureau. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen Escobar and Melanie Alsworth are prosecuting the case.

Serrato and Valencia are scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd on Nov. 8, 2021. Castellanos previously entered a guilty plea to the drug conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 18, 2021. Serrato and Valencia face a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison, a statutory mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years, and a $10 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will 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.

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.

San Francisco Field Division