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DEA/NTF Arrest 10 Suspects; Indictment Unsealed

SAN DIEGO, CA Acting Special Agent in Charge William R. Sherman and United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced the arrest of ten individuals and unsealing of a five-count indictment charging those individuals with narcotics and federal firearms violations, and money laundering. A federal grand jury sitting in San Diego handed up the indictment on April 11, 2011, which was unsealed today. According to Count 1 of the indictment, Luis Earnest Morquecho, Eduardo Resendiz Ortiz, David Covarrubias Alvares, Ryan Neal Miller, Michael Ronn Robles, Martin Rodriguez, Hector Escalera Cordova, Tsitiporn Morquecho, and Michael Valentine Longnecker are charged with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms and more of cocaine. Luis Earnest Morquecho and Charles Frank Fuller are charged in Count 2 of the indictment with illegally transporting and importing firearms from the state of Arizona into the state of California, specifically two AR-15 assault rifles, one AK-47-style assault rifle, and one 9-mm pistol. The weapons were then sold to undercover agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in San Diego.

In Count 3 of the indictment, Luis Earnest Morquecho is charged with being a felon in possession of firearms; specifically, Morquecho is charged with possessing two AR-15 assault rifles, one AK-47-style assault rifle, a 9-mm pistol, and a .22 caliber pistol equipped with a screw-in silencer. Morquecho was previously convicted of possession of marijuana for sale in San Diego County. In Count 4 of the indictment, David Covarrubias Alvarez is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm; specifically, Alvarez is charged with possessing one .38 caliber revolver. Alvarez was previously convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm, with gross bodily injury likely, in San Diego County. The indictment further alleges that Luis Earnest Morquecho purchased a black 2009 Cadillac Escalade with funds derived from unlawful activity; specifically, that Morquecho purchased the Cadillac with at least $19,000 in cash derived from the distribution of cocaine.

Finally, the indictment contains forfeiture allegations that would result in the forfeiture to the United States, upon conviction, of the firearms, the Cadillac, and any other assets obtained, directly or indirectly, through proceeds derived from the cocaine conspiracy. The charges stem from an investigation conducted by the DEA, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The defendants were arraigned on the charges this afternoon before Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin and are next scheduled to be in court on April 26, 2011, at 3:00 p.m.

DEFENDANTS
Case Number: 11cr1495AJB
Luis Earnest Morquecho Age: 43 San Diego, CA
Charles Frank Fuller Age: 39 Yuma, AZ
Eduardo Resendiz Ortiz Age: 37 Spring Valley, CA
Daniel Covarrubias Alvarez Age: 31 San Diego, CA
Ryan Neal Miller Age: 32 San Diego, CA
Michael Ronn Robles Age: 33 San Diego, CA
Martin Rodriguez Age: 31 San Diego, CA
Hector Escalera Cordova Age: 41 San Diego, CA
Tsitiporn Morquecho Age: UNK San Diego, CA
Michael Valentine Longnecker Age: 30

SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846 - Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine
(As to all defendants except Fuller)
Maximum Penalties: Life in Prison, with mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison; $4,000,000 fine; 5 years supervised release.

Title 18, United States Code, Section 371 and 922(a)(3) and 924 (a)(1)(D) - Conspiracy to Illegally Transport and Import Firearms (As to defendants Fuller and Luis Earnest Morquecho)
Maximum Penalties: Up to 5 years in prison; $250,000 fine; 3 years of supervised release.

Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1) and 924(1)(2) - Felon in Possession of a Firearm Maximum Penalties: 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. (As to defendants: Luis Earnest Morquecho and David Covarrubias Alvarez)
Maximum Penalties: Up to 10 years in prison; $250,000 fine; 3 years of supervised release.

Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957(a) - Money Laundering Over $10,000 (As to defendant Luis Earnest Morquecho)
Maximum Penalties: Up to 10 years in prison; $250,000 fine; 3 years of supervised release.
Criminal Forfeiture

OTHER AGENCIES

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Naval Criminal Investigative Service
Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation
San Diego Police Department


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