LOS ANGELES – A San Bernardino County man was sentenced today to 180 months in federal prison for narcotics and firearms offenses after police pulled him over near downtown Los Angeles and found 14 pounds of methamphetamine contained in 14 foil-wrapped, burrito-shaped packages in his SUV, and a fully loaded handgun hidden in a secret compartment in the driver’s side door.
Ricardo Renteria, 48, of Colton, was sentenced at a hearing today by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips.
After a one-day bench trial in March 2019, Judge Phillips found Renteria guilty of three felonies: possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to the evidence presented at his trial, Los Angeles Police officers pulled Renteria over on February 3, 2018 in the Angelino Heights neighborhood of the city of Los Angeles after they witnessed him erratically and evasively driving a white Chevrolet Tahoe. Renteria consented to a search of the vehicle and law enforcement then found a black garbage bag on the floor behind the driver’s seat.
Inside the garbage bag were 14 foil-wrapped, burrito-shaped packages containing 6,197 grams (13.7 pounds) of methamphetamine with a street value ranging from $27,000 to $40,000. A subsequent search of the vehicle after it was impounded revealed the presence of a fully loaded Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolver handgun. Renteria was arrested at the scene and he was indicted by a federal grand jury in March 2018. He remains in federal custody.
This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration with substantial assistance from the Los Angeles Police Department.