News Release
May 07 , 2009
Contact: SA Sarah Pullen
Phone Number: 213-621-6827

Compton Street Gang Members Charged for Roles in Narcotics
Distribution Network

MAY 07 -- (LOS ANGELES) - Fifteen individuals associated with the a Los Angeles street gang known to be linked to the Mexican Mafia were charged for their roles in a narcotics distribution ring operating in and around Compton, California, announced several federal and local officials in Los Angeles including, Thomas O’Brien, United States Attorney in Los Angeles; Timothy J. Landrum, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Los Angeles; Salvador Hernandez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles; Leroy Baca, Sheriff of Los Angeles County; Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Attorney General for the State of California.

An investigation was initiated in 2008 to address gang-related crime reported by the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department in the Compton area. The investigation focused on identifying and disrupting members of a drug trafficking network there. According to court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, several associates of the gang are charged with distribution and/or conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, a schedule II narcotic drug controlled substance. Four people are charged with being in the United States illegally following deportation after felony convictions.

“Today's successful operation is an example of how law enforcement has joined forces at all levels to free our communities from the violence brought into our neighborhoods by these criminal drug organizations," said Timothy J. Landrum, DEA Special Agent in Charge.

In executing the operation early this morning, Agents and police from several federal, state and local agencies executed four federal arrest warrants, five state arrest warrants and six search warrants that resulted in the seizure of narcotics, weapons and explosives. Six individuals charged in the federal cases were already in custody. In addition, twenty parole searches and ten probation searches were carried out.

 “It is vital for law enforcement at all levels to collectively address drug distribution networks which fuel the violence wreaking havoc in Los Angeles communities, and sustain the lifeblood of criminal enterprises like the Mexican Mafia,” said Salvador Hernandez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles.

 “By shutting down a major source of drugs and weapons, these arrests will deal another hammer blow to the persistent violence that terrorizes Compton,” Attorney General Edmund G. Brown said.

 Those charged in the federal cases include:

Oscar Ceballos, 31, of Los Angeles (distribution of methamphetamine and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine)
Noe Chairez , 28, of Los Angeles (distribution of methamphetamine)
Denisio Delgado, 33, of Los Angeles (distribution of methamphetamine.
Daniel Alberto Gonzalez, 30, of Los Angeles (distribution of methamphetamine)
Jorge Torres, 20, of Los Angeles (distribution of methamphetamine)
David Zavala, 22, of Los Angeles (distribution of methamphetamine and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine)
Victor Mendoza , 36, residing in U.S. illegally (re-entering the U.S. after two deportations, including for felony)
Adolfo Mendoza, 34, residing in the U.S. illegally (re-entering the U.S. after two deportations, including for felony)
Victor Zermino, 34, residing in the U.S. illegally (re-entering the U.S. after two deportations, including for felony)
Cesar Guevara-Ponce, 26, residing in the U.S. illegally (re-entering the U.S. after two deportations, including for felony)

Those charged by the State of California in the methamphetamine distribution operation include: Ernesto Alonso Martinez, 39, of Los Angeles; Gerardo Chavira, 21, of Los Angeles

Brian Doyle, 42, of Los Angeles; Benjamin Rodriguez, 33, of Los Angeles; Francisco Rodriguez, 34, of Los Angeles

“ICE is committed to using every tool at its disposal to combat gang-related crime and violence here in the Southland,” said Robert Schoch, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Los Angeles. “Our immigration and customs authorities are proving to be powerful weapons in this effort and we will continue working closely our law enforcement partners to attack and dismantle the gangs that have terrorized our communities.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI, the State of California’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department and the U.S.

Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as several agencies working with the FBI’s

Safe Streets Task Force that provided considerable assistance during the investigation and during today’s operation, including U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), U.S.

Bureau of Prisons, L.A. IMPACT, U.S. Department of Probation, the California Department of Corrections and the Department of Child and Family Services of Los Angeles County.

The federal defendants listed above will be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, and those arrested this morning will have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles today. The District Attorney in Los Angeles will prosecute individuals charged in the state warrants.

 

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