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Massive gun, drug crackdown in California leads to indictments for 55 people

Friday, March 3, 2017 7:29
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(Before It's News)

Fifty-five drug dealers and gang members are facing a slew of gun and drug trafficking charges following a massive bust extending from San Diego to Kingman, Arizona, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

The move was characterized as “one of the most significant crackdowns in recent memory,” noting that those arrested were responsible for a “substantial portion” of the heroin and methamphetamine distributed in the area.

Over 150 members of the North County Regional Gang Task Force, as well as multiple law enforcement agencies, worked together to search more than 20 locations throughout North County and Kingman early Wednesday morning. Several suspects were apprehended earlier this week, while others were already in custody. Seven defendants still remain at large, two of which authorities believe are in Mexico.

The arrests came as the result of a year-long investigation led by the Task Force, which included extensive surveillance and dozens of undercover drug and weapons purchases.

Officials noted many of the guns and drugs were being stored and sold across the street from a local high school. In fact, according to court documents, at least 25 percent of the heroin that was being sold and consumed in North County came from the drug trafficking organization led by Yadira “Pini” Villalvazo, of Tijuana, who is named in the indictment. Villalvazo was deported back in 2002 following a federal drug trafficking conviction, but officials noted she is still specializing in heroin.

Additionally, tens of thousands of dollars made from the illegal sale of firearms lined the pockets of the drug trafficking organization, which is also highly active in Kingman.

“Today we’ve taken out one of North County’s largest heroin suppliers,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Alana Robinson. “This crackdown is our most significant response to date to the heroin epidemic ravaging our communities. We anticipate seeing a huge impact now that these defendants are removed from our community, particularly in the North County cities of Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos and other areas plagued by gangs.”

According to the Justice Department, the number of heroin-related deaths in the county more than doubled from 2005 to 2015. First responders also used naloxone more than 1,300 times in 2015 alone to save the lives of overdosing victims. In addition, from 2011 to 2015, the number of methamphetamine-related deaths in the area has increased over 80 percent.

“This investigation demonstrates the complex, international and multi-faceted nature of the gang threat in North County where heroin, methamphetamine, and firearms related crimes threaten our communities,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric S. Birnbaum.

Charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin, Conspiracy to Import Heroin, Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments, Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, and Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute are as follows.

  • Yadira “Pini” Esmeralda Villalvazo, 38, Tijuana, Mexico
  • Andrea Ball, 37, Vista, California
  • Cristina Gomez, 30, Vista, California
  • Joel Villalvazo, 25, Vista, California
  • Joshua O’Brien, 35, Fallbrook, California
  • David “Bandit” Dominguez, 36, Vista, California
  • Tina Dominguez, 35, Vista, California
  • Fidel Jimenez, 36, Oceanside, California
  • Naomi “Huera” Jimenez, 42, Vista, California
  • Salvador Mendez, 46, Fallbrook, California
  • David Siladji, 37, Vista, California
  • Angel Serrato, 55, Vista, California
  • Alexander Mendoza, 29, Carlsbad, California
  • Rene Ramos, 45, Kingman, Arizona
  • Maria Sanchez, 41, Kingman, Arizona
  • Edivan Patino, 27, Vista, California
  • Richard Seffens, 39, Poway, California

Charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin, Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm are as follows.

  • Andrea Ball, 37, Vista, California
  • Travis Hensley, 36, Fallbrook, California
  • Aaron McCune, 36, San Marcos, California
  • Vanessa Rojas, 44, Vista, California
  • Edward Araiza, 42, Oceanside, California

Charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Distribution of Methamphetamine are as follows.

  • Javier “Javi” Castrellon, 53, San Marcos, California
  • Manuel “Manny” Espinoza, 48, Encinitas, California
  • James Caruthers, 54, Oceanside, California

Charged with Distribution of Methamphetamine are as follows.

  • Pedro “Largo” Bret Cueva, 26, San Marcos, California
  • Julio “Night Owl” Cesar Valverde, 28, San Marcos, California

Charged with Dealing in Firearms Without a License and Felon in Possession of a Firearm is as follows.

  • Noe “No-No” “Wolfie” Rene Lugo, 33, Vista, California

Charged with Conspiracy to Import Methamphetamine are as follows.

  • Jose “Scrappy” Alejandre-Ruvalcaba, 42, Tijuana, Mexico
  • Kristina Lee Rozzo, 43, Vista, California

Charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm are as follows.

  • Ivan “Dreamer” Bazan, 32, Vista, California
  • Brhandon Puga, 20, Chula Vista, California
  • Matthew Ortiz, 35, Chula Vista, California
  • Cheytan “Hawk” Siva, 36, Vista, California
  • Luis “Knockout” Gonzalez, 32, Vista, California
  • James Mathes, 32, Oceanside, California
  • Eva Corona, 33, Carlsbad, California
  • Randy Moraleja, 35, Escondido, California
  • Brett Mooney, 37, Oceanside, California

Charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm are as follows.

  • Jorge “Scorpion” Enrique Jara Cervantes, 28, Vista, California
  • Jaime Orozco, 30, Vista, California
  • Gabriele Solis, 26, Vista, California
  • Alex Camou, 27, Vista, California
  • Morgan Peterson, 25, Carlsbad, California
  • Keith “Lurch” Collins, 32, Oceanside, California

Charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, Distribution of Methamphetamine, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm are as follows.

  • Sabrina Yzaguirre, 28, Vista, California
  • Roberto “Grandpa” Recendez, 54, Vista, California
  • Eduardo “Lalo” Oretga, 25, Oceanside, California
  • Antonio “Thief” Becerra, 30, Vista, California
  • Kimberly Arenas, 41, Escondido, California
  • Manuel Guerena, 37, Escondido, California
  • Marco “No-No” Vasquez, 24, Vista, California
  • Johnny Molina-Bailon, 34, Vista, California
  • Santiago “Jimmy” Rios, 35, Vista, California
  • Alex Camou, 27, Vista, California

Charged with Possession of Methamphetamine and Felon in Possession of a Firearm is as follows.

  • Linda Cowan, 46, Oceanside, California

Possible penalties range from a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison to life in prison and fines ranging from $250,000 to $10 million.

The post Massive gun, drug crackdown in California leads to indictments for 55 people appeared first on Guns.com.



Source: http://www.guns.com/2017/03/03/massive-gun-drug-crackdown-in-california-leads-to-indictments-for-55-people/

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