MACON, Ga. – Two metro-Atlanta residents admitted guilt to their roles in distributing a large amount of methamphetamine in Middle Georgia.
Christian Jesus Pineda, 27, of Duluth, Georgia, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine on March 21. Co-defendant Victor Penaloza Sanchez, 26, of Cartersville, Georgia, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting Pineda’s distribution of methamphetamine on March 15. Both defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison to be followed by at least three years of supervised release and a maximum $1,000,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson presided over Pineda’s hearing and U.S. District Judge Tilman E. “Tripp” Self, III presided over Sanchez’s hearing. The defendants will be sentenced on June 7.
According to court documents, a confidential informant (CI) told law enforcement that Sanchez was selling large amounts of methamphetamine. The informant and Sanchez, via multiple text messages and phone calls, agreed to the CI purchasing approximately 500 grams of methamphetamine from Sanchez and that a courier would meet the CI at a gas station in Byron, Georgia, on April 28, 2021, to conduct the transaction. Agents with DEA, Peach County Sheriff’s Office, Byron Police Department and K-9, working with the CI, observed a vehicle driven by Pineda pull into the gas station at the appointed time. The CI approached Pineda, who showed him a clear bag containing a half kilogram of methamphetamine.
The case was investigated by DEA and the Peach County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Byron Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Will Keyes prosecuted the case.