News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2006

Fairfield Man Arrested for Trafficking 25 Kilos of Cocaine
Illegal drug distributor led operations from California to Alabama

FAIRFIELD, CA – The Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) Sacramento District Office announced today the arrest of Eduardo PICHARDO, 32, of Fairfield, and the search of his homes located on Paddon Road in Vacaville and Owens Court in Fairfield. PICHARDO was arrested yesterday at about 12:00 p.m. without incident at his Owens Court residence. As a result of the search agents seized documentary evidence, 4 shotguns, 2 rifles, and an uzi.

Gordon Taylor, Assistant Special Agent in Charge (“ASAC”) of the DEA Sacramento Office, said, “This investigation uncovered a huge cocaine network with its ringleader based right here in the Solano County area. The arrest of this local cocaine kingpin should have a positive impact on communities from Vacaville to Alabama.”

The DEA Sacramento District Office began its investigation in 1999. During the investigation it was determined that PICHARDO was allegedly the ring leader of an organization responsible for trafficking multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine throughout Northern California, Arizona and as far east as Alabama. Agents believe that in early October 2001, PICHARDO arranged for a driver of a pickup truck to transport 25 kilograms (approximately 56 pounds) of cocaine from Phoenix, AZ to Alabama. On October 5, 2001, the driver was stopped by Arkansas State Police during a routine traffic stop. The driver was arrested after a search resulted in the seizure of 25 kilograms of cocaine from a hidden compartment inside the gas tank of the vehicle. The street value of the cocaine seized is approximately $1.3 million.

Based on the investigation agents believe that PICHARDO oversaw the transportation of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from Arizona to his home in Fairfield. PICHARDO allegedly distributed a portion of the cocaine in Northern California and the remaining cocaine elsewhere. In addition, the investigation indicated PICARDO was involved in the distribution of multiple pounds of methamphetamine and marijuana.

PICHARDO is charged with violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846- Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Methamphetamine- and Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) – Distribution of Cocaine and Methamphetamine. Each count of distribution carries a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison. Each count of conspiracy carries a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison.

PICHARDO had an initial appearance today, at Federal Court in Sacramento. This case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of California. This investigation was conducted by the DEA Sacramento District Office in conjunction with the Vacaville Police Department, the Fairfield Police Department, and the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Sacramento Office.