Jury finds Sacramento man guilty of trafficking cocaine
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal jury found Benjamin Macias, 40, of Sacramento, guilty today of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, distribution of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Chris Nielsen and U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, in 2014 and 2015, Macias supplied Sergio Ambriz, 29, of Sacramento, with cocaine. On four occasions, Ambriz sold this cocaine to an undercover agent in Sacramento and El Dorado Counties. Agents planned to arrest Macias and Ambriz at a fifth transaction on June 9, 2015. Shortly before they could do so, Macias sped away from the scene at about 90 miles per hour. Agents searched Macias’s car after they apprehended him. In the glove compartment, they found a Ruger 9 mm pistol loaded with hollow-tipped bullets; they also found more than one pound of cocaine in the trunk. On the same day, agents searched Macias’s Sacramento home and found ammunition, a 35-round magazine, and more cocaine.
Ambriz previously pleaded guilty to using a cellphone to facilitate a drug trafficking offense and was sentenced on November 4, 2016, to four years in prison.
This case is the product of an investigation by the DEA, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul A. Hemesath and Amanda Beck are prosecuting the case.
Macias is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell, Jr. on February 8, 2018. Macias faces a maximum statutory sentence of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.