Madera Meth Lab Figure Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges
A Mexican national involved in a Madera meth lab and drug trafficking ring pleaded guilty in Fresno federal court on Monday.
Jose Monge-Ponce 33, admitted to conspiring to manufacture, to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert said in a news release.
Two other ring members, Oscar Rene Marrot-Garcia, 30, of Chowchilla, and Francisco Alcantar-Miranda, 34, of Mexico, previously entered guilty pleas. Alcantar received a sentence of 10 years and Marrot was given 6.5 years in prison.
Related Story: Tulare County Woman Admits to Trafficking Large Quantity of Meth
25 Pounds of Meth, 4 Pounds of Heroin
According to court documents, in January 2019, officers executed a search warrant at an unoccupied residence in Madera and found a methamphetamine lab. They also found 10 pounds of finished methamphetamine, 4 pounds of heroin, 1 pound of cocaine, and 25 pounds of marijuana. In addition, Ponce had an unregistered firearm, three cellphones, and pay-owe sheets.
Ponce is scheduled for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on May 22. He faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison, along with a $10 million fine.
A multi-agency team led by the Madera County Sheriff’s Office narcotics unit snared Ponce and his associates.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen A. Escobar is prosecuting the case.
Related Story: Kern County Man Gets 9 Years in Prison for $3.4M Disability Fraud