California Man Pleads Guilty to Distribution of Methamphetamine

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Coachella, California man pleaded guilty today to transporting five pounds of methamphetamine from Coachella to Aumsville, Oregon, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug.

Gerardo Figueroa-Felix, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of methamphetamine.

According to court documents, on January 7, 2019, Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call that squatters had returned to a foreclosed property in Aumsville and that there was methamphetamine inside the house. Deputies had locked the property four days prior in response to a court order. Two deputies approached the house together and spotted a white Chevrolet pickup truck with a California license plate backed into the driveway. As they approached, the deputies saw Figueroa-Felix tying up a tarp near the back of the vehicle.

One of the deputies approached Figueroa-Felix and asked why he was on the property. Figueroa-Felix produced three identification cards with his name and photograph on them. The deputy watched as Figueroa-Felix began to reach his hands into the front pockets of his jacket and ordered him to remove them. The deputy then proceeded to search Figueroa-Felix’s person and located a loaded semi-automatic Ruger 9mm handgun in his left-front pants pocket. The deputy discovered a second loaded handgun tucked into Figueroa-Felix’s waistband. Figueroa-Felix also had a double magazine pouch attached to his belt.

The investigation revealed Figueroa-Felix was a drug mule from Coachella and was paid to transport five pounds of crystal methamphetamine from Southern California to Oregon. He previously sold two pounds of methamphetamine on the Aumsville property and returned that day to sell more. Deputies seized three pounds of methamphetamine and large quantities of live .45 caliber ammunition from his truck along with another handgun.

On March 20, 2019, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a three-count indictment charging Figueroa-Felix with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Figueroa-Felix faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, a $5 million fine, and four years of supervised release. With Figueroa-Felix’s continued acceptance of responsibility, the government has agreed to a recommended sentence of 70 months in prison and four years’ supervised release. Figueroa-Felix will be sentenced on June 7, 2021 before U.S. District Court Judge Karin Immergut.

This case was investigated by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Salem Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). It is being prosecuted by Hannah Horsley and Pamela Paaso, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.