More Than Seventeen Arrested on Drug and Firearms Charges
JUN 25 -- Greensboro, NC – More than 17 people were arrested today based upon a 17 count indictment on federal drug, firearms, and currency transaction reporting charges. Arrests are expected of the remaining two defendants who remain at large. Five additional arrests were made during the operation, most of which were related to firearms and immigration charges. Also seized was approximately $489,000 in US Currency, 19 vehicles and 37 weapons. The culmination of this investigation came as a result of an intensive two year investigation into a major cocaine distribution organization based in Alamance County, North Carolina.
The indictment returned May 30, 2007, charges that from 2005 until the present, the 17 defendants conspired to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride in Alamance and Guilford Counties, North Carolina, in the Western District of Texas, in the Western District of Virginia, in the Republic of Mexico, and elsewhere. Each defendant convicted on the drug conspiracy charge could be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of not less than 10 years or more to life, a fine of up to $4,000,000, or both, and supervised release of up to five years.
“Today, the DEA, with the cooperation of a myriad of federal, state and local partners, delivered a forceful blow to a well organized cocaine distribution organization,” said Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “Drug distribution is about delivering misery to the consumer. DEA is about removing the supply of drugs before they get to the consumer. DEA and our local law enforcement partners achieved this today and will continue to do so.”
“Today’s arrests take a violent drug trafficking organization out of our community,” said Anna Mills Wagoner, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina. “The indictment and arrests of these individuals demonstrate the positive results that can be obtained when federal, state and local law enforcement work together with determination to disrupt and dismantle criminal enterprises.”
Initial appearances for those arrested today are being held in federal court in Winston-Salem Salem, North Carolina before the Honorable Russell A. Eliason, United States Magistrate Judge. The arraignments of the defendants are scheduled for June 20, 2007, in Winston-Salem, and trials are expected to be scheduled for the August 2007 term of court in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The defendants charged are as follows: JOSE MARIA BELTRAN VALDERRAMA, aka "Chema," age 24, of Burlington, NC; PEDRO BELTRAN VALDERRAMA, aka “Pepe,” age 23, of Burlington, NC; RAFAEL VALDERRAMA, aka "Rafa," age 57, of Burlington, NC; GABRIEL VALDERRAMA CANO, aka, Pablo Sergio ZAPATA, aka “Gabi,” age 24, of Burlington, NC; OSCAR ANSALDO, age 25, of Burlington, NC; DAVID BELTRAN ZUNIGA, age 48, of Burlington, NC; ALBERTO BELTRAN VALDERRAMA, aka “Beto,” of Burlington, NC; JAVIER BELTRAN VALDERRAMA, age 29, of Graham, NC; ARNOLDO VALENCIA MEDINA, age 29, of Monroe, NC; ERROL ZELADA LOPEZ, age 32, of Greensboro, NC; GREGORY BLACKWELL, age 49, of Burlington, NC; FRANCISCO GERALDO MARTINEZ-ARANDA, age 30, of Mexico; JEFFREY LEE BOSWELL, age 47, of High Point, NC; DERRICK KEITH KELLOGG, age 37, of Greensboro, NC; and MARCUS DORAN BARLEY, age 27, of Danville, VA.
Count Two of the indictment charges RAFAEL VALDERRAMA, aka "Rafa," with evading a currency reporting requirement by concealing $499,865 in a semi-tractor truck and transporting, or attempting to transport, that currency from the United States to Mexico. If convicted, he could be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of not more than five years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both, and supervised release of not more than three years.
Count Three charges PEDRO BELTRAN VALDERRAMA, aka “Pepe,” OSCAR ANSALDO, and ARNOLDO VALENCIA MEDINA, with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. If convicted of the firearms charge, each of these defendants faces a sentence of imprisonment of not less than five years, a fine of up to $250,000, and supervised release of not more than five years.
In addition to those indicted, ADAN VALDERRAMA, aka Benjamin Cano Sedano, age 22, of Gibsonville, NC, was arrested on a criminal complaint and charged with participation in the drug conspiracy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. PASCUAL RAYGOSA SALAZAR, age 33, of Burlington, NC, was arrested after a search warrant was executed at his residence, and several other individuals have been arrested on state and federal charges, including immigration violations, as a result of the this morning’s law enforcement operations.
The investigation and arrests were jointly conducted by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Marshals Service, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office, the Burlington Police Department, the Caswell County Sheriff’s Office, the Graham Police Department, the Greensboro Police Department, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, the High Point Police Department, and the Orange -County Sheriff’s Office.
DEA Atlanta Field Division SAC Benson recommends parents and children educate themselves about the dangers of drug abuse by visiting DEA’s interactive website by going to www.justhinktwice.com.