Breaking News Blog

Thursday, Jan 31 2013 04:25 PM

Indictments returned in two Kern County drug cases

By BREAKING NEWS BLOG

Two federal indictments were returned Thursday in two separate cases originating from Kern County involving large quantities of drugs.

In the first case, Miguel Sanchez Mendoza, 45, and Gamaliel Salas Mendoza, 37, both of Durango, Mexico, were charged with conspiring to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine and three separate counts of possessing each of those drugs with intent to distribute.

According to court documents, Kern County sheriff's deputies seized seven pounds of methamphetamine, a half pound of heroin, and 1 1/2 pounds of cocaine from a residence in northeast Bakersfield where both men lived.

If convicted, Salas Mendoza faces a sentence of 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine. If convicted of the charges in today's indictment, based on a prior felony drug conviction, Sanchez Mendoza faces 20 years to life in prison and a $20 million fine.

In the second case, Bernabe Hernandez, 52, of Arvin, was charged with conspiring to cultivate, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, cultivating marijuana, and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute.

According to court documents, Hernandez is the owner of a 29-acre parcel in Lamont where Kern County Sheriff's deputies found and seized 1,387 pounds of processed marijuana and 338 marijuana plants. If convicted, Hernandez faces five to 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine.

- Kern County Sheriff's Department

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