MADERA — A Superior Court jury convicted 32-year-old Firebaugh resident, Manuel Miranda, on July 5, of two felony counts for trafficking methamphetamine in the city of Madera, according to Michael R. Keitz, District Attorney for Madera County.
Miranda was charged with conspiring to sell methamphetamine and possession of it for sale, transportation of more than one kilogram, and an additional misdemeanor count for possession of a vehicle with a false compartment.During the trial, Deputy District Attorney Mary Thornton introduced evidence that the Madera County Narcotics Enforcement Team and the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Investigation received a tip that Miranda was involved in narcotics trafficking.
On Nov. 3, 2011, officials began their surveillance of Miranda in Firebaugh and followed him to Bakersfield. While there, he picked up a car with a false compartment and 7 ½ pounds of methamphetamine and drove it to Madera. The officers then obtained search warrants and recovered the methamphetamine, $7,500 in cash and a scale used to weigh large quantities of drugs, Keitz said.
Following the jury verdict, sentencing for Miranda was set for Aug. 2, in Madera Superior Court. Because he has previously suffered a robbery conviction under California’s Three Strikes Law, and because of the large quantity of methamphetamine in his possession, he could receive more than 11 years in state prison.