SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Two Sacramento-area men were indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday and charged with two counts of cocaine trafficking, the office of U.S Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.  

Jose Manuel Chavez Zepeda, 54, of Carmichael, and Denis Zacaris Ponce Castillo, 37, of Sacramento were charged with the conspiracy to distribute cocaine and distribution of cocaine. 

According to court documents, from April 22, 2016, to March 2022, federal prosecutors claim that Chavez distributed cocaine that he received from a supply source connected to the Cartel Jalisco Nuevo Generacion (CJNG) in Mexico. 

Prosecutors said Chavez was distributing cocaine in kilogram quantities. 

Court documents said Chavez is the owner of La Victoria Supermercado on Del Paso Boulevard. Prosecutors claim Chavez was using the grocery store to launder proceeds from his narcotic sales.

In the court documents, prosecutors allege that Ponce worked for Chavez as one of his “larger sub-dealers” and later as his “stash pad” manager. 

According to prosecutors, Chavez and Ponce sold half of a kilogram of cocaine to a confidential source in Sacramento in June 2021. 

If Chavez and Ponce are both convicted, prosecutors said they each face a maximum of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine. 

Prosecutors said this case is being investigated by multiple federal agencies including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security. The Sacramento Area Intelligence and Narcotics Task Force are also taking part in the investigation.