OAKLAND -- A Southern California man who had three-quarters of a pound of methamphetamine in his car when he was stopped by the California Highway Patrol on an Oakland freeway last year was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday,¿ federal officials said.
Under a plea agreement, Timathe Richard Soto, 51, of Orange County, admitted that on March 1, 2013, he was stopped on Interstate 580 in Oakland. During a search of his vehicle, CHP officers discovered about three-quarters of a pound of methamphetamine, valued at about $25,000 on the street, and a loaded 9 mm pistol.
Soto had been traveling from Orange County to Ukiah to trade the methamphetamine for marijuana, federal officials said. He said he had the gun to protect the drugs and his money, federal officials said.
Soto pleaded guilty in May to intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Soto was on parole following his release from state prison two years ago for an assault with a deadly weapon conviction.
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