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News Release [print-friendly page]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2006

DEA Takes Over 30 Guns And 200 Kilograms Of Cocaine Off The Streets

Guns seized as part of the operation

JOHN P. GILBRIDE, United States Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Special Agent-in-Charge, and MICHAEL GARCIA, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced today the arrests of DAVID GONZALEZ, FERNANDO PULIDO-AVILA, JOSE HERNANDEZ AND ROBERTO DIAZ, four members of a cross-county drug trafficking organization, and the seizure of millions of dollars worth of cocaine and a cache of weapons.

JOHN P. GILBRIDE, United States Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Special Agent-in-Charge, and MICHAEL GARCIA, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced today the arrests of DAVID GONZALEZ, FERNANDO PULIDO-AVILA, JOSE HERNANDEZ AND ROBERTO DIAZ, four members of a cross-county drug trafficking organization, and the seizure of millions of dollars worth of cocaine and a cache of weapons.

According to the Indictment filed today in Manhattan federal court, two of the defendants, FERNANDO PULIDO-AVILA and JOSE HERNANDEZ, were arrested after they drove a cocaine-laden tractor-trailer from California to a public storage unit in the town of Effort, Pennsylvania. Prior to the delivery, the storage unit had been rented by a third defendant, DAVID GONZALEZ, under a false name. DAVID GONZALEZ met FERNANDO PULIDO_AVILQA and JOSE HERNANDEZ at the storage unit, where they unloaded several boxes containing a total of approximately 200 kilograms of cocaine from the tractor-trailer, and then loaded the cocaine into the storage unit. Two days later, the fourth defendant, ROBERTO DIAZ, drove from New York City to Pennsylvania in an effort to pick up the cocaine. In connection with the arrests, federal agents seized the 200 kilograms of cocaine, worth approximately $5 million.

While searching DAVID GONZALEZ’s residence after his arrest, federal agents found an arsenal of weapons, including a .223 caliber Colt rifle with a grenade launcher; an Uzi .465 caliber handgun; two AK-47 rifles; a Bushmaster .223 caliber rifle; and two 12-gauge Mossberg shotguns. A total of 33 firearms were seized. The Indictment charges that GONZALEZ possessed these weapons in furtherance of the cocaine trafficking crime.

Special Agent in Charge JOHN P. GILBRIDE, DEA stated; “Because of the diligent work on this operation, DEA has successfully taken 200 kilograms of cocaine and over 30 guns off the streets. This seizure shows the close yet dangerous relationship between drug trafficking and guns. DEA is committed to keeping the communities and our children protected from the violence that drug trafficking gives rise to.”

If convicted of the charges, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Mr. GARCIA thanked the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania for its assistance in the investigation. Mr. GARCIA praised the efforts of the DEA and the Pennsylvania State Police and said that the investigation is continuing.

Assistant United States Attorney Elie Honig is in charge of the prosecution.

 

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