News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2008

DEA Uncovers Large Indoor Marijuana Grow Operation Throughout San Diego County

APR 16 -- United States Attorney Karen P. Hewitt announced that thirteen individuals were arraigned today in federal court in San Diego on a felony complaint charging them with conspiracy to manufacture marijuana plants and manufacturing marijuana plants, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a) and 846.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Stewart M. Young, who is prosecuting the case, Thomas Swift, Kevin Kennedy, Robert Rocco, Steven Zufall, Rudy Tijerina, Jesse Sandoval, Kyle Kimbrel, Jorge Morales, Jose Rodriguez-Parra, Randy Kennedy, Glenn Swift, Gregory Swift, and Brandon Gonzalez, were all arrested following the execution of federal search warrants at residences and grow locations in Vista, Fallbrook, Ramona, and Valley Center, California.

On April 14, 2008, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) and the San Diego Narcotics Task Force (“NTF”) executed search warrants on five suspected grow locations following a year-long investigation. Agents found sophisticated indoor marijuana growing operations at four of these residences, with a total of approximately 6,848 marijuana plants. According to court documents, Thomas Swift and Kevin Kennedy owned or controlled the four residences that contained these indoor marijuana growing operations. The DEA also filed a civil complaint for forfeiture related to the grow locations in Vista, Fallbrook, Ramona and Valley Center.

The defendants are next scheduled to be in court on April 29, 2008, at 9:00 a.m., for a preliminary examination before the Honorable Barbara L. Major, United States Magistrate Judge.

DEFENDANTS
Case Number: 08-MJ-1611
Thomas V. Swift San Marcos, CA Age: 48 In Custody
Kevin D. Kennedy Vista, CA Age: 48 In Custody
Robert Rocco Vista, CA Age: 48 In Custody
Steven Zufall Oceanside, CA Age: 22 In Custody
Rudy Tijerina Vista, CA Age: 23 On Bond
Jesse Sandoval Vista, CA Age: 26 In Custody
Kyle Kimbrel Oceanside, CA Age: 21 In Custody
Jorge Morales Ramona, CA Age: 23 In Custody
Jose Manuel Rodriguez-Parra Fallbrook, CA Age: 40 In Custody
Randy Kennedy Fallbrook, CA Age: 51 In Custody
Glenn Swift Valley Center, CA Age: 24 In Custody
Gregory Swift Valley Center, CA Age: 22 In Custody
Brandon Gonzalez Valley Center, CA Age: 22 On Bond

Civil Complaints for Forfeitures of Properties: 08-CV-672, 08-CV-673, 08-CV-674, 08-CV-675.

SUMMARY OF CHARGES

Conspiracy to Manufacture Marijuana Plants (1000 plants or more)
Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846
Penalties: 10 year minimum mandatory to life in custody; 5 years of supervised release, $2,000,000 fine

Manufacturing Marijuana Plants (1000 plants or more)
Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1)
Penalties: 10 year minimum mandatory to life in custody; 5 years of supervised release, $2,000,000 fine

PARTICIPATING AGENCIES

Drug Enforcement Administration
San Diego Narcotics Task Force
United States Marshals Service
San Diego County Judge Unit
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
United States Border Patrol

A complaint itself is not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the Government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.