California man gets 20 years in prison for meth conspiracy

A California man has been sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for participating in a conspiracy to transport methamphetamine from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

According to a statement released Wednesday by the U.S. attorney’s office in Nevada, Juan Rodriguez was sentenced on April 14 by U.S. District Judge James Mahan.

Rodriguez, 70, of Covina, Calif., was convicted by a jury in December of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, carrying a firearm in the commission of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Rodriguez previously was convicted in federal court in Fresno, Calif., of transporting illegal aliens. He also had prior convictions in California.

Rodriguez and four co-defendants were arrested in June 2009 near Primm as they traveled in several vehicles on Interstate 15 toward Las Vegas. Authorities found 2.2 kilograms, or more than 4 pounds, of methamphetamine in one of the vehicles. The co-defendants, all from California, also were convicted and sentenced to prison.

Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at or 702-384-8710.

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