Melvin Alexis Diaz Arteaga, 28, admitted he possessed and intended to sell 6.6 kilograms, or about 15 pounds, of fentanyl along with amounts of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and other illegal substances, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California said in a statement Wednesday.
Diaz was arrested outside an apartment in Berkeley on Nov. 16, 2022. According to his plea agreement, which was accepted on Oct. 26, Diaz admitted using the same Berkeley apartment to make and store large amounts of drugs for sale in the Tenderloin district, among other areas.
Prosecutors said more than $50,000 in cash was seized by officers on the night of his arrest, including nearly $42,000 found in his bedroom. Diaz admitted he got the money from drug sales and that some of the cash would have been used for drug trafficking.
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Based on his plea agreement, Diaz admitted to a count each of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl (1); possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl (2); possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin (3); possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine (4); possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine (7); and possession with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine (8).
Prosecutors said that besides prison time, the court may order Diaz to pay a fine of up to $10 million per count on Counts 1 and 2; $5 million per count on Counts 3, 4, and 7; and $1 million on Count 8. He also faces a mandatory additional term of supervised release of five years on Counts 1 and 2; four years on Counts 3, 4, and 7; and three years on Count 8, the U.S. Attorney's Office added.
Diaz has been in custody since he was arrested. His scheduled sentencing is on Feb. 21, 2024, prosecutors said.