California Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Trafficking Drugs into Oregon

A California man attempted to trade cocaine for an assortment of guns and cash in Southern Oregon — only to find that his associates were undercover agents.

Posted: Dec 11, 2018 1:53 PM
Updated: Dec 11, 2018 1:59 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — A California man was sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison for drug trafficking crimes after he attempted to trade cocaine to law enforcement agents in exchange for guns and cash, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

In 2017, 33-year-old Gonzalo Manzo of Fresno helped to set up the transportion of a kilogram of cocaine from California into Southern Oregon. Meeting with buyers, Manzo and his co-conspirators traded the cocaine for "six Colt .38 Super caliber pistols, two Beretta 9mm pistols with silencers, a Glock 9mm machine gun and $21,000 in cash," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Unbenownst to Manzo, he was trading the cocaine to undercover agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). They believed that Manzo meant to bring the guns and cash back to California, but they arrested Manzo and his compatriots before they could do so.

Manzo eventually pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and one count possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Now he has been sentenced to 188 months in federal prison and three years' supervised release.

"The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

[Photos provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office include the firearms that Manzo accepted in exchange for cocaine, as well as screenshots from a "2015 YouTube music video depicting Manzo with firearms"]

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