Northern California Man Indicted for Possession with Intent to Distribute Fentanyl and Illegal Firearm Possession, DOJ Reports

April 25, 2021 – SACRAMENTO, California – A federal grand jury filed charges against Austreberto Santamaria-Valencia, 25, of Red Bluff last Thursday, accusing him of possession Acting US attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced that he intends to sell fentanyl and to be a criminal in possession of a firearm.

According to court records, on February 6, police officers responded to a report of a suspected overdose by a motel guest in Red Bluff. When the officers entered the room, they found Santamaria-Valencia sitting on a chair, unconscious but breathing. On the bed near him, officers saw several plastic bags containing what appeared to be blue pills, which were sold as counterfeit oxycodone pills but often contained fentanyl. Officers were able to wake Santamaria-Valencia. In response to her questions, Santamaria-Valencia stated that she had taken fentanyl. The medical staff took care of Santamaria-Valencia and confirmed that he was in no danger of being overdosed. A file review revealed that Santamaria-Valencia had an arrest warrant against him, and officials arrested him at the time.

According to an authorized search warrant, after Santamaria-Valencia was taken to Tehama County Jail, officials searched the Santamaria-Valencia room and car and confiscated approximately 1,000 counterfeit M-30 oxycodone pills, a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol Taurus G3C. two bottles with a total of 170 Farmapram pills (Alprazolam-Xanax), five packets of suboxone strips, 90 grams of marijuana, about $ 7,000 in cash, and other items commonly used for street narcotics sales.

This case is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, the Red Bluff Police Department, the Tehama County Major Crimes Unit, and the Tehama County Prosecutor’s Office. US Assistant Attorney James Connolly is pursuing the case.

If convicted, Santamaria-Valencia faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $ 1 million fine for charges of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. If convicted as a felon in possession of a firearm, he faces a maximum legal sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000. However, any penalty would be determined at the discretion of the court, taking into account all applicable legal factors and federal sentencing guidelines, which take a number of variables into account. The charges are just accusations; The accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond any doubt.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for all. The Justice Department reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on fighting violent criminals, instructing all U.S. law firms to work effectively, locally, in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies and the local community Directed development to develop strategies to reduce violent crime. For more information on Project Safe Neighborhoods, visit www.justice.gov/psn.
Source: DOJ

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