9 April – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The United States Attorne…

9 April – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced that Nelson Castillo, 36, was sentenced late yesterday to 38 months in prison for manufacturing and possessing counterfeit United States currency.

Mr. Castillo, of Redwood City, was convicted by a federal jury on March 30, 2004, on one count of manufacturing counterfeit currency and one count of possessing counterfeit currency. He was originally indicted by a federal grand jury on March 28, 2003. He was arrested, along with a co-defendant, Luis Vargas on February 13, 2003, as part of a joint investigation involving the United States Secret Service and the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement. Mr. Vargas, who pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement, was sentenced in September 2004 to 14 months in prison for possessing counterfeit currency.

The sentence was handed down by United States District Court Judge Jeffrey S. White. Judge White sentenced the defendant to 38 months in federal prison as well as a 2 year period of supervised release. Judge White concluded that Mr. Castillo acted as the leader and organizer of the scheme, directed Mr. Vargas in the scheme, and intended to use the counterfeit currency to purchase illegal narcotics in the Bay Area.

The prosecution was the result of an investigation by agents of the United States Secret Service and the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement who were assisted by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department and the Palo Alto Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Lucey and Stephen H. Jigger prosecuted the case with the assistance of legal technician Ana Guerra.

A copy of this press release and related court filings may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can . Related court documents and information may be found on the U.S. District Court website at www.cand.uscourts.gov or on .

All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at [email protected] .

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