OAKLAND — A Bay Area man has avoided jail time for dropping off methamphetamine to a man who turned out to be an undercover FBI informant, at the behest of an incarcerated prison gang associate, court records show.
Martin Ruppel Jr., 44, was one of dozens arrested in 2021 in a lengthy federal investigation into the Nuestra Familia gang. Earlier this month he pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge, admitting that he picked up a pound of methamphetamine from a woman, then immediately dropped it off with the informant during a meeting at a parking lot in Hayward.
Ruppel did this because an incarcerated prison gang associate asked him to in exchange for a “free sample” of the methamphetamine, a defense attorney wrote in court papers, adding Ruppel now deeply regrets his conduct.
Prosecutors didn’t ask for jail time, and Ruppel’s lawyer wrote that he suffers from a number of serious health conditions, including morbid obesity, which would be greatly exacerbated by incarceration.