Four Individuals Indicted on Drug Trafficking Charges
Indictment Stems from Investigation into 2006 Shooting Death of
Trooper Calvin Jenks
MAY 19 -- Memphis, TN - A federal indictment has been unsealed charging four defendants for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute drugs in West Tennessee, announced Lawrence J. Laurenzi, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. This case resulted from an investigation that stemmed from the January 6, 2007 shooting and death of Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Calvin Jenks.
The indictment, which was returned on April 28, 2009, alleges in Count One that RUBEN GAUNA, 28, JESSIE ARVIZU, 30, EMILIO FERNANDEZ, 38, ORLANDO GARCIA, 22, all of Austin, Texas, conspired with one another to bring large amounts of marijuana into the United States from Mexico to distribute in the Western and Middle Districts of Tennessee. The defendants allegedly purchased marijuana in Texas and then used a stash house to store the drugs until they could be transported into Tennessee for distribution. The defendants are alleged to have also possessed and used various firearms for the protection of their narcotic business. Violations of the Conspiracy Statute carry a penalty of up to five years in federal prison.
The indictment further alleges in Counts Two through Four, that GARCIA carried a firearm while trafficking drugs and then aided and abetted another person to use a firearm and cause the death of law enforcement officer, Trooper Calvin Jenks, who was engaged in and performing his duties as an officer of the law. Counts Three and Four carry a penalty of up to Life in Prison or Death.
Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the DEA Atlanta Field Division (AFD) commented on the case, “The distribution of dangerous drugs and associated gun violence are a recipe for disaster. When these two elements co-exist, violence is imminent, such as was the case with Trooper Jenks. DEA is committed to removing violent drug traffickers from the streets. This case was possible because of the spirited cooperative efforts between our multi-level law enforcement colleagues.”
“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to getting drug traffickers off the streets,” said U. S. Attorney Laurenzi. “The facts and crimes of violence alleged in this case show further cause as to why we in law enforcement must be vigilant in investigating and prosecuting drug trafficking organizations.”
Department of Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell stated, “I want to commend U. S. Attorney Lawrence J. Laurenzi and investigators with the DEA, TBI, and the THP Criminal Investigation Division (CID) for their work in identifying Texas subjects allegedly involved in the distribution of marijuana to Tennessee. Indictments against individuals who participate in drug trafficking schemes demonstrate that the justice system continues to function effectively to rid our streets of drug distributors associated with violent crime.”
"On behalf of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, I would like to thank all the cooperating agencies who made sure justice was served in this case. Drug trafficking will not be tolerated in Tennessee and TBI will remain vigilant in fighting the war on drugs,” stated Director Mark Gwyn of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
"I appreciate the efforts of the US Attorney's Office in seeking these indictments on those that were responsible for the killing of Trooper Calvin Jenks. This sends a strong message to people who are trafficking drugs into Tipton County and especially those that will harm a law enforcement officer,” said Sheriff Pancho Chumley of Tipton County.
This case was investigated by the Tennessee Highway Patrol-Criminal Investigation Division, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Jerry Kitchen is handling the case for the government.
Note: Charges brought against a person through an indictment are accusations only. That person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
SAC Rodney G. Benson of the DEA AFD encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justhinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.