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California man sentenced to 25 years in prison for meth trafficking in ND

BISMARCK --  A 41-year-old California man will spend 25 years in federal prison after he was sentenced Tuesday for meth trafficking in North Dakota.

Antonio Avila Medrano of Los Angeles had been found guilty by a federal jury last July and was sentenced in federal court by Judge Daniel Hovland in Bismarck.

He was convicted of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

This case came to the attention of law enforcement when Medrano was stopped for a traffic violation in Bismarck on May 6, 2015, when a Bismarck hotel key card was found on him as well as $4,800 in cash in a Ziploc bag.

In his trial, it was determined that Medrano and a co-defendant were transporting meth in to North Dakota from California for distribution. A search of the Bismarck hotel room revealed meth, digital scales, baggies, a vacuum sealer, heat sealer bags, and dryer sheets, all of which was indicative of drug trafficking. Also found in the room was a Sig Sauer P290 firearm, which was found inside Medrano’s bag along with empty baggies, meth, and a prescription pill bottle. A search of Medrano’s residence in California was conducted on April 28, 2015, during which time Medrano’s son informed law enforcement that meth was not at the residence because Medrano and the co-defendant took it with them when they left four to five days prior to the search warrant being executed.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bismarck police.