san diego federal indictments 2021

Most locations of these establishments are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Federal Office Building Copyright 2023 NBCUniversal Media, LLC. The three others with nicknames that reference apparent membership in Los Cabos, such as Cabo 96 and Cabo 89 remain at large. Herrera is charged alongside alleged lieutenants Carlos Lorenzo Hinojosa Guerrero and Edgar Perez Villa in a superseding indictment returned by a San Diego federal grand jury in March 2020, part of a larger prosecution against 13 others. An official website of the United States government. According to court records, it is common for gambling den owners to pay rent in cash to the owners of these properties and, in some cases, a percentage of the profits to cast a blind eye to all the foot traffic. The investigation leading to these federal charges focused on the criminal activities of the Riverside-based Casa Blanca Rifa criminal street gang to combat drug trafficking and associated violence in Riverside and the surrounding community. The San Diego teens had told family they were going to Ensenada for a barbecue the night before but didnt return home as planned. The indictments are part of a yearlong investigation involving wiretaps, undercover drug and gun purchases and "extensive surveillance," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. 841(a)(1)). In all, 44 firearms, more than 12 pounds of methamphetamine, $263,000 in cash, and 640 gambling machines were seized during the culmination of a two-year investigation. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, San Diego County District Attorneys Office, Southern District of California Ryan Korner, who is the Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigations Los Angeles Field Office, described how the criminal moved the money across international borders. Numerous crimes have been linked to the illegal gambling operations, said SDPD Chief David Nisleit. ", "San Diego is one of nine major transportation-hub cities identified under DEA's Operation Crystal Shield," said John Callery, Special Agent in Charge of DEAs San Diego Field Division. 371 Conspiracy), Illegal Gambling Business (Title 18, U.S.C., Sec. Additional partner agencies participating in the takedown. Criminal Records and Contact Info aggregated from real law enforcement agencies and government court houses. 841(a)(1); Importation of Heroin, in violation of Title 21, U.S.C., Secs. ) or https:// means youve safely connected to the .gov website. Maximum Penalties: For the drug charges: Life in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a $10 million fine. Two additional defendants were charged in separate indictments in March in connection with this case, bringing the number of defendants charged so far to 21. Those arrested today include the owners of the businesses and employees who acted as doormen, security and bankers; those who audit the machines; and those who collect the money. 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Subscribe 952, 960 and 963; Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, in violation of Title 21, U.S.C., Sec. Learn more about how we use cookies in our cookie policy. "One method utilized was moving tens of thousands of dollars in narcotics proceeds to the network's leaders via Paypal, Zelle, Venmo and Cash App accounts, in addition to shipping bulk cash.". Also arrested were alleged drug dealers who operated within the dens. Toll Free (800) 544-1106 The FBI disrupted two dozen illegal gambling dens in San Diego Wednesday morning in sweeping raids across the city. Get FBI email alerts Main Office: Possession with Intent to Distribute (Title 21, U.S.C., Sec. Sutton said that the lead defendant in the case, Reyes Espinoza, was the one with the alleged ties to the Sinaloa Cartel and was the main supplier and served as a conduit, the main source of supply for the meth ring, responsible for importing hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine into San Diego every week. Our free newsletter is delivered at 8 a.m. daily. The FBI disrupted two dozen illegal gambling dens in San Diego Wednesday morning in sweeping raids across the city. "Gangs, drugs and illegal firearms are infesting many of our neighborhoods and creating a violent culture that is unsafe for residents," Acting U.S. Attorney Randy S. Grossman said. Please reload the page and try again. The indictment also charges some of the defendants with conspiracy to import methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, being a felon in possession of ammunition, and attempted international money laundering. Maximum Penalties: For Conspiracy Charge: Five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Maximum Penalties: For Felon in Possession of Firearm Charges: Ten years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The main draw to illegal gambling establishments is methamphetamine use and sales, according to the indictments. Maximum Penalties: For Distribution of Methamphetamine Charge: life in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a $10 million fine. Fax: (619) 546-0720 "From the evidence gathered in this case, the IRS and our law-enforcement partners were able to identify the mechanics of the money-laundering organization," Korner said at the news conference. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. DEFENDANTS Case Number: 21CR1411-DMS, DEFENDANT Case Number: 21CR1412-DMS, DEFENDANTS Case Number: 21CR1413-DMS, DEFENDANTS Case Number: 21CR1414-DMS. Maximum Penalties: For Distribution of Methamphetamine Charges: Forty years imprisonment with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a $5 million fine. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. The 19-count indictment charges a total of 19 defendants with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence and a statutory maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Officials also announced seizures of more than 220 pounds of meth and other drugs, 90 firearms and more than $250,000 in cash. The FBIs Inland Empire Safe Streets Task Force investigated this matter. The indictment charges 17 foreign nationals with distributing thousands of encrypted communication devices to criminal syndicates, advertising the devices as "designed by criminals for criminals." The cartel was an early adopter of trafficking fentanyl into the U.S. as a cheaper, more reliable alternative to heroin and, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office, is also a prolific methamphetamine producer and chemical importer, using precursors procured from China and India.. Nearly a dozen federal indictments were unsealed in San Diego Thursday charging 23 documented gang members and associates with trafficking drugs and firearms, with the defendants largely hailing from gangs operating in the South Bay region. FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive Michael Pratt Captured in Spain. Help us grow with a monthly contribution. A mugshot of Edgar El Caiman Herrera Pardo from his 2019 arrest in Mexico. Maximum Penalties: For Distribution of Methamphetamine Charge: Forty years imprisonment with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a $5 million fine. That is, until today.". As of Thursday afternoon, 17 of the 23 defendants -- all identified as San Diego residents ranging in age from 23 to 60 -- were in federal or state custody, with a dozen of the defendants arrested this week. The indictments are part of a yearlong investigation involving wiretaps, undercover drug and gun purchases and extensive surveillance, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office. I am particularly grateful to FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner, SDPD Chief David Nisleit, and District Attorney Summer Stephan for their work on this investigation and their dedication to keeping our community safe., These gambling dens were not only host to illegal gambling, but a hub for a variety of other criminal activity to include drug trafficking and unlawful possession of firearms, said FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner. 952 & 960). Grossman praised federal prosecutors Dale Blankenship and Matthew Brehm as well as the Deputy District Attorneys, FBI Special Agents, San Diego Police Department detectives and officers and other state, federal and local law enforcement agencies who worked so hard on this investigation. Acting U.S. Attorney Randy S. Grossman noted that gangs, drugs and illegal firearms have infested many of our neighborhoods, which creates a violent culture that is unsafe for residents.. Early this morning, more than 450 members of the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force - Gang Group, the San Diego Police Department and many other law enforcement agencies made 35 arrests and searched 24 locations, mostly illegal gambling dens in East San Diego neighborhoods. Maximum Penalties: For Felon in Possession of Firearm and Ammunition Charges: years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Vasquez is accused of coordinating the killings, according to a U.S. Attorneys Office motion to unseal the charges. Three men identified by authorities by first name only were arrested in Mexico in connection with the slayings about six weeks later. A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States. TTY: (619) 557-3450. Todays enforcement action is another example of why the Task Force was established to be a force multiplier and combine short term, street level enforcement activity with long term, sophisticated techniques to root out and prosecute the entire criminal enterprise., I would like to recognize the cooperation between all agencies who took part in this operation, said San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit. TTY: (619) 557-3450. Alexander Michael Randise, 29, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court last year to a fentanyl distribution charge, stemming from the December 2021 death of Tyber Joseph Lustig, U.S. District Court Judge Larry Burns ruled the 2021 law did not violate gun owners rights under the Second Amendment, Preliminary hearing of Larry Millete, who has pleaded not guilty to murdering his missing wife Maya Millete, could run two weeks or longer. The FBIs Safe Streets Task Force received assistance during the investigation from the San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department; U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the United States Marshals Service. According to an FBI search-warrant affidavit, at least nine of the 24 businesses raided belonged to one man, Long Ngoc Tran, 41, also known as Long Tu.. 841(a)(1)). They also seized methamphetamine, heroin and firearms as part of the investigation. 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Prosecutors say the defendants used services like Signal and WhatsApp to communicate with each other in order to avoid law enforcement detection. The U.S. Attorneys Office said 38 defendants remain outstanding as of Thursday afternoon. Copyright 2023 NBCUniversal Media, LLC. RIVERSIDE, CA Law enforcement authorities today arrested 12 defendants charged in a federal grand jury indictment alleging they conspired to traffic large quantities of methamphetamine from their suppliers in Mexico into and throughout the Inland Empire. Domestic Cannabis Suppression / Eradication Program, Red Ribbon Toolkit - Resources For Your Community, DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, Intelligence Research Specialist Job Announcements, Schedule A Hiring Authority: Intelligence Research Specialist, Privacy Impact Assessment and Management Information Systems, Victim Witness Assistance Program Resources. An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. The defendants largely hail from gangs operating in the South Bay. The group is accused of dispatching large groups of armed killers to take over the region, including planning more than 150 murders in a roughly six-month period, most of them in Tijuana, according to a court-authorized interception of a group chat described in a recent court filing. The U.S. Attorney's office Grossman announced charges Tuesday afternoon against 60 alleged local members of a San Diego-based methamphetamine ring accused of working for a distribution network for the notorious Sinaloa Cartel. Secure .gov websites use HTTPS The drug-trafficking organization, known by its Spanish initials CJNG, has risen in influence in recent years and has been battling the more entrenched Sinaloa Cartel for control of the lucrative Tijuana-San Diego smuggling route. As of Thursday afternoon, 17 of the 23 defendants -- all identified as San Diego residents ranging in age from 23 to 60 -- were in federal or state custody, with a dozen of the defendants. Meth, Firearm Result in 10 Years of Prison January 03, 2023 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. Oct. 17, 2021 5:06 PM PT SAN DIEGO In a case prosecutors and defense attorneys agree "covers novel questions of fact and law," two Tijuana men have been indicted on drug-trafficking and. . Three of the indicted individuals were already in custody prior to the takedown. Maximum Penalties: For Possession with Intent to Distribute Charge: Forty years imprisonment with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a $5 million fine. The operation resulted in 35 arrests and charges against 47 people, according. Reporters Notebook: California border remains top fentanyl trafficking gateway into U.S. Judge sentences boat pilot to 18 years in prison for three smuggling deaths, Truth or a simple dream? Maximum Penalties: Importation of Methamphetamine Charges: Forty years imprisonment with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a $5 million fine. 12.06. . According to a search warrant affidavit, the investigation into the network dubbed Operation Crystal Hydra began in the spring of 2020. Maximum Penalties: Importation of Methamphetamine Charges: life in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a $10 million fine. The 19-count indictment charges a total of 19 defendants with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence and a statutory maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Four men alleged to be leaders in a Mexican cartel enforcement cell have been indicted in San Diego on drug-trafficking charges and are accused of orchestrating a wave of violence in Tijuana, including the murders of two San Diego teenagers in 2018, according to federal prosecutors. The governments case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. According to the warrant, the use and sale of methamphetamine is intrinsically linked to slaphouses and acts as a draw to bring customers to the venues. During this mornings takedown, 12 of the federal defendants were arrested. Their friend, Said, lived in the Lomas Verdes neighborhood where the killings occurred. Random Lengths News Operation 'Wipe Out:' Narcotics and Firearms Charges For 13 Defendants Named in Four Federal Indictments - The Los Angeles Harbor Area's Only Independently owned news magazine serving San Pedro, Wilmington, Carson, Lomita, Torrance, Long Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes and Harbor Gateway. The U.S. Attorneys Office reported that 44 of the 60 defendants were in custody as of Tuesday, with dozens of defendants arrested over the past month in five states. The indictments are part of a yearlong investigation involving wiretaps, undercover drug and gun purchases and "extensive surveillance," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Lock OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. Callery said that the targets of Operation Crystal Shield were purchasing over 100 pounds of meth a week, "which is an enormous amount for any city in the United States, Callery said. Attorneys from the Department of Justice, Office of Enforcement Operations, Electronic Surveillance Unit, also provided critical assistance to the investigation. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, San Diego County District Attorneys Office. Enter address: This website, like most media sites, uses small files called cookies to anonymously customize the advertising that you see. For firearms charges: Ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Gangs, drugs, and illegal firearms are infesting many of our neighborhoods and creating a violent culture that is unsafe for residents, said Acting U.S. Attorney Randy S. Grossman. This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. 856(a)(1)), Distribution of Methamphetamine (Title 21, U.S.C., Sec. According to court records, it is common for employees to hand out small amounts of methamphetamine and comp customers to keep them playing and coming back for more. We are committed to dismantling violent gangs and holding their members accountable for criminal conduct., The FBI is proud to work alongside our local, state, and federal partners on the Violent Crimes Task Force to address the gang problem and rid our streets of the overflow of drugs and guns which continue to plague our communities, said FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner. Official websites use .gov 880 Front Street, Room 6293 Many of the defendants are documented members or associates of violent South Bay street gangs operating out of National City, San Ysidro, and elsewhere. 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine (Title 21, U.S.C., Sec. Of the 35 people arrested, 15 are part of the indicted group, and the others were arrests for state offenses. 619-232-4311. Prosecutors said many of the defendants are either members or associates of gangs, some of which have longstanding ties to the Mexican Mafia. They operated out of South Bay communities including National City and San Ysidro. lawyer found dead in Mexico speaks, O.C. The members of the ring will face firearm, money-laundering and drug-distribution charges. This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. However, surveillance, phone records, financial documents, undercover agents and wiretaps were utilized to track the defendants communications and locations, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office. For firearms charges: Ten years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. Official websites use .govA .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States. - A Jefferson City, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing a firearm and methamphetamine to distribute. According to the indictment returned on May 5 and unsealed today, from April to August 2020, lead defendants Timoteo Gomez, 48, of Riverside, and Javier Rodriguez, a.k.a. Whoops! Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of California Randy Grossman was joined at 2 p.m. by officials from the DEA, IRS, San Diego County Sheriff's Department and others for a news conference, which was held at the DEA's office on Viewridge Avenue. *KAREN RENE ANN PRANGSAMPHAN- PORTER (10), Conspiracy (Title 18, U.S.C., Sec. This prosecution underscores that coordinated criminal activity will be met with a coordinated and focused law enforcement response by the U.S. Attorneys Office and our law enforcement partners at the federal, state, and local level. In a Thursday afternoon news conference at the Searcy Police Department, . The indictments allege that many of these gambling locations were taking in thousands of dollars a day. Members are nominated by Superior Court Judges to serve one-year terms. 841(a)(1) and 846; Distribution of Methamphetamine, in violation of Title 21, U.S.C., Sec. Name, email and comment will be stored in our database. A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States. There was an error and we couldn't process your subscription. The crackdown announced today is the latest in a series of efforts by the Department of Justice to turn the tide of the opioid epidemic and reduce the inevitable violent crime that accompanies widespread drug trafficking. Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, in violation of Title 21, U.S.C., Secs. Maximum Penalties: For Maintaining Drug Involved Premises Charges: Five years imprisonment and a $500,000 fine. SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - A man from San Diego was indicted in a federal court after a search of his residence revealed his connection to illegal sales of firearms and possessing. All rights reserved, Beaches Up and Down San Diego County Closed After Sewage Spills, Watch Live: Maya Millete Case Updates During Larry Millete's Hearing on Murder Charge, SUV Appears Split in Half After Oceanside Crash That Killed Mom, 6-Year-Old, Injured 4 Others, That's Where She Told Me That She Needs a Place to Live,' Maya Millete's Sister-in-Law Testifies. Our team of experts has selected the best teeth whitening gel out of hundreds of options. These establishments are equipped with electronic gambling machines which are programmed with several games of chance such as poker, blackjack, keno, jacks or better, and slot games. Maximum Penalties: For the drug charges: Life in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a $10 million fine. Here's How to Check Your Bill, Rainstorms Are Boosting San Diego's Water Supplies But It's Not Enough, Beaches Up and Down San Diego County Closed After Sewage Spills, Watch Live: Maya Millete Case Updates During Larry Millete's Hearing on Murder Charge, SUV Appears Split in Half After Oceanside Crash That Killed Mom, 6-Year-Old, Injured 4 Others, That's Where She Told Me That She Needs a Place to Live,' Maya Millete's Sister-in-Law Testifies. It is common for employees to hand out small amounts of methamphetamine and comp customers to keep them playing and coming back for more, reads the warrant. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. This serves as another example of what happens when you bring together dedicated law enforcement professionals using a comprehensive approach to detect, disrupt, and dismantle these criminal operations., Numerous crimes have been linked to the illegal gambling operations, said SDPD Chief David Nisleit. The Task Force is a joint federal and state gang task force that includes the FBI; the Drug Enforcement Administration; IRS Criminal Investigation; the Riverside County Sheriffs Department; and the Riverside Police Department. As a result of the collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement officials, law-abiding citizens who live in these neighborhoods will be safer without these magnets for crime in their midst.. The charges, which were recently unsealed, include conspiracy to import and distribute heroin and methamphetamine. FBI.gov is an official site of the U.S. Department of Justice. San Diego, California 92101-8807, Telephone: (619) 557-5610 U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California, Twenty-Three Gang Members Charged in Crackdown on South Bay Heroin, Methamphetamine and Firearms Traffickers, San Diego Resident Sentenced to 15 Years for His Role in Fatal Fentanyl Overdose, Defendant Sentenced to 10 Years in Case Featured on HBO Documentary The Crime of the Century, Mexican National Sentenced to 108 Months Following Record-Breaking Seizure of Fentanyl and Meth, Twenty Three Gang Members Charged In Crackdown On South Bay Heroin, Methamphetamine and Firearms Traffickers. United States ( 1 ) ), illegal gambling dens in San Diego Wednesday morning in sweeping raids the... County District attorneys Office largely hail from gangs operating in the United.. Newsletter is delivered at 8 a.m. daily Wednesday morning in sweeping raids across City... For state offenses or redistributed is accused of coordinating the killings, according County District attorneys Office money-laundering. Email and comment will be stored in our cookie policy, according to a U.S at. These gambling locations were taking in thousands of dollars a day, seven days week! Delivered at 8 a.m. daily advertising that you see two dozen illegal san diego federal indictments 2021 Business ( Title 18 U.S.C.. The Main san diego federal indictments 2021 to illegal gambling operations, said, lived in the Lomas Verdes neighborhood the. Conference at the federal defendants were arrested in Mexico in connection with the slayings about six weeks later operated of. Operated within the dens the members of the ring will face Firearm, and. Of enforcement operations, said, lived in the United States focused law enforcement response by the U.S and purchases. 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san diego federal indictments 2021