Things That Matter

A Man Has Been Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison After Being Caught With 14 Meth Burritos

There are days when the thought of stuffing your face with a burrito can bring so much happiness into our lives. However, when authorities found 14 foil-wrapped burrito-shaped packages in Ricardo Renteria’s SUV in 2018, they weren’t so pleased. They weren’t filled with beans or cheese. Instead, Los Angeles police found the “burritos” filled with one key ingredient: about a pound each of methamphetamine. Renteria, 48, of Colton, California was sentenced on Monday to 15 years in federal prison for carrying more than 13 pounds of methamphetamine in his car.

People are stunned how this bait and switch “burritos” was pulled off.

Credit: @latimes / Twitter

Back on Feb. 3, 2018, Renteria was pulled over in the Angelino Heights neighborhood by Los Angeles Police officers after multiple witnesses reported a white Chevrolet Tahoe driving erratically. When police asked for his license, Renteria didn’t have it on him and was then allowed to search for his registration and insurance. While he couldn’t provide the correct paperwork, police determined the vehicle was registered to Renteria legally but found that his license was expired. That’s when Renteria let police search the vehicle. They would soon find a black garbage bag filled with 14 “foil-wrapped, burrito shaped” packages.

Authorities said that Renteria is a member of a neighborhood LA street gang and goes by the nickname “Flaco.” According to the Los Angeles Times, Renteria’s car was subsequently impounded after the arrest. During a later search of the vehicle, a fully loaded handgun was recovered from a secret compartment on the driver’s side door and more than $800 in cash.

“He has a very long criminal history,” Chief U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips said during the trial. “This was a large amount of methamphetamine — and the way it was packaged, it was clearly for sale.”

According to police, the street value of the methamphetamine ranged from $27,000 to $40,000.

Credit: @lapdhq / Twitter

During his one-day trial in March, Renteria was found guilty of possessing meth with intent to distribute, possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and being a felon with a firearm, according to prosecutors.

During his sentencing hearing, Renteria asked Judge Phillips to “take into consideration (that) I have a family waiting for me — and I apologize for the situation I find myself in.”

Judge Phillips rejected the notion and said that a significant prison sentence was needed “to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant.” There was also a recommendation that Renteria undergoes a mental and physical health examination while serving time in prison.

“He wasn’t trying to sell a pound of meth disguised as burritos or trick anyone into thinking they’re real,” Ciaran McEvoy, a spokesman with the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Central District of California, told the News Observer. “But he was probably hoping to avoid detection this way.”

Police are familiar with this tactic and have previously seen creative ways that criminals try to disguise various drugs in the form of food.

“Narcotics dealers go to great lengths to conceal whatever narcotics it is they’re trying to move from one location to another,” Meghan Aguilar, a Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman told the Washington Post. “Soda cans, books cut out in the middle. Only the imagination limits how far drug dealers will go.”

This isn’t the first time we hear about someone trying to smuggle drugs in the form of a burrito.

Credit: @dailymail / Twitter

Just last week, a Colorado corrections officer tried to smuggle a drug-filled burrito into the Buena Vista Correctional Facility. Trevor Martineau filled the “burrito” with meth, heroin, marijuana, and painkillers and now faces a variety of felony charges. He’s also lost his job with the state. According to the Daily Mail, Martineau told investigators that he had drugs inside his lunchbox when he got to the correctional facility.

There is clearly a growing trend when it comes to hiding drugs in burrito shaped wrapping. This can only make us wonder what’s the next food item that people will be stashing away paraphernalia in. We just hope they leave tacos out of this.

READ: Not All Burritos Are The Same! Here Are 15 Varieties You Should Try ASAP

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Mexican President Criticizes DEA For Role In Former Army Chief’s Arrest

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Mexican President Criticizes DEA For Role In Former Army Chief’s Arrest

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized the historic role of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Mexico after a former Mexican army chief was arrested Thursday in Los Angeles on drug charges at the request of the DEA.

The former Mexican Defense Minister was arrested by the DEA on drug charges.

Salvador Cienfuegos Zepedas was the secretary of National Defense in the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto from 2012 to 2018. President Lopez Obrador claims that the arrest is proof of corruption from past governments.

President Lopez Obrador used the arrest to criticize the U.S. government and the DEA.

President Lopez Obrador, speaking at a press conference in Oaxaca, claimed that there is a double standard. While Cienfuegos Zepedas has been arrested by the DEA, the president claims U.S. officials have not been held accountable for trafficking arms into Mexico to track them to the cartels. According to the president, Mexican officials are being held at a higher and harsher standard than U.S. officials.

“Why is it that it’s just the people in Mexico who took part in these acts being accused or implicated, and (the DEA) aren’t criticizing themselves, reflecting on the meddling by all these agencies in Mexico,” Lopez Obrador said at the press conference. “They came into the country with complete freedom, they did whatever they wanted.”

The former defense minister’s arrest sent shockwaves through Mexico.

Cienfuegos Zepedas was the first high-ranking Mexican military official to be arrested in the U.S. with drug-related corruption. He was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport and will be facing drug and money-laundering charges. It’s been less than a year since Genaro Garcia Luna was charged with taking bribes from the Sinaloa drug cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

President Lopez Obrador wants to protect the military’s reputation.

Lopez Obrador also said he hopes that the armed forces aren’t blamed for this scandal and that Mexico must take care of institutions as important as the Secretary of National Defense. Mexico does not currently have an ongoing investigation of the retired general and will await the result of the U.S. investigation, according to the president of Mexico. 

Cienfuegos Zepedas is due to make a court appearance related to four charges in California on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.

READ: This Is What Mexico’s AMLO Wants From The Pope For The Churches Crimes Against Indigenous Mexicans

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11-Year-Old Boy Steals School Bus, Leads Cops on a 45-Minute High-Speed Chase in Baton Rouge

Things That Matter

11-Year-Old Boy Steals School Bus, Leads Cops on a 45-Minute High-Speed Chase in Baton Rouge

Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

On Sunday morning, drivers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana were treated to a sight they definitely don’t see very often: an 11-year-old boy driving a school bus. But it wasn’t just any “ride”; it was an unaccompanied, illegal joy ride.

That’s right, over the weekend, a young Louisiana boy managed to steal a school bus from the local Head Start and take it out for a spin.

He then led police officers on a 45-minute, high-speed chase around Baton Rouge.

@lainetaylor

Only in Louisiana you have a 9 year old kid steal a school bus😂 #batonrouge #Louisiana #diffrentbreed #fypシ #foryou #schoolbus

♬ original sound – Laine Taylor

A TikTok user named @lainetaylor captured the chase on video. As the school bus zoomed down the street, it appeared that around a dozen cop cars were in hot-pursuit of the rogue boy.

Witness Joy Gradney described her first-hand experience to the local WAFB news station, saying, “As he got closer and closer and closer, I saw it’s a little boy in there and he was laughing. He was like giggling on the way across Florida [Ave] as he goes right past me. I’m like, ‘I can’t believe it’s a little boy!'”

According to authorities, the bus was a “push to start” model, so it was easy for the boy to start the vehicle without any keys. As for how he could reach the pedals, that’s a question we’d like an answer to.

Police also claimed that they little boy was flipping them off and taunting them as he drove the stolen school bus.

The chase eventually ended when the bus crashed into a tree. Thankfully, no one was hurt (although three other cars were apparently hit during the chase). The boy was arrested and put in handcuffs.

Libby Smith, the woman whose tree he crashed into, sounded as shocked as anyone when she found out who the bus’s driver was.

“I’m thinking, ‘What in the world is going on?’ And my first thought is that it was a lot of kids on the bus,” she explained to WAFB. “Thank goodness he was okay he was safe, but it was not your typical Sunday afternoon occurrence for sure!”

According to reports, the police charged the boy with “theft of a vehicle, aggravated flight, damage to property and aggravated assault.” We have a feeling he won’t be stealing any more busses any time soon.

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