FRESNO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced the arraignment of three individuals who were arrested for possession of 29 pounds of methamphetamine, one and a quarter pounds of heroin, as well as one loaded handgun. The narcotics are believed to have been imported from Mexico.
Defendants Abel Castro, Tauri Valera and Julian Aispuro were arrested on February 22, 2018 and booked into the Fresno County Jail. The arrests came after a month-long investigation led by the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Investigation and the Fresno Methamphetamine Task Force (FMTF), a Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area team. The task force is made up of personnel from the Fresno Police Department, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, Kings County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol, California National Guard and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations.
“This operation demonstrates our continuing commitment to crack down on drugs that are being trafficked throughout our state,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Keeping Californians safe is our number-one priority at the California Department of Justice, and we will continue to work with our state, local and federal law enforcement partners to combat illegal narcotics, including opioids.”
Undercover agents from the FMTF task force negotiated with the three suspects to purchase 29 pounds of methamphetamine and two pounds of heroin. During the morning hours of February 22, the suspects confirmed the narcotics had crossed the Mexican border and would be delivered to a Fresno parking lot. The defendants were arrested once the FMTF undercover agents were able to view the evidence.
Today, defendants Abel Castro, Tauri Valera and Julian Aispuro, were arraigned in Fresno County Superior Court on five felony counts each of conspiracy to possess and sell methamphetamine and heroin. Additionally, Valera was charged with possession of narcotics while armed with a firearm, and Castro was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and resisting arrest. The case is being prosecuted by the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office.
Bail was set at $790,000 for Castro, $730,000 for Valera and $675,000 for Aispuro.
It is important to note that a criminal complaint contains charges that are only allegations against a person. Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
A copy of the complaint is attached to the press release at oag.ca.gov.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra / Monday, February 26, 2018