United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Eight Arrested this Week in Long-Term Investigation into Drug and Gun Trafficking
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Friday, March 21, 2014
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Eight defendants were arrested this week in a wide-ranging drug and gun trafficking investigation, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. A federal grand jury returned the indictments on March 13, 2014, charging the defendants with various drug and gun trafficking offenses. The indictments were unsealed following the arrests of each defendant.
These cases are the product of a long-term investigation by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and ATF, along with officers from the Sacramento Police Department; California Highway Patrol; and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of Parole and Special Service Unit; and the California Gang Intelligence Initiative.
“We are thankful for continued, active collaboration with our state and local law enforcement task force partners who share our commitment dismantling criminal networks that pose a serious threat to the communities we serve,” said Special Agent in Charge Monica M. Miller of the Sacramento division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Disruption of illegal drug and weapons trafficking is essential to ensure the safety and vitality of our neighborhoods.”
Andre Nicholas Amaya, 33, of Sacramento, was charged with three counts of distribution of methamphetamine in Sacramento County. He was arraigned on March 20, 2014, the same day as his arrest. His next court date is set for April 17, 2014.
(docket # 2:14-cr-72 MCE)
Joseph Darosa, 21, of Elk Grove, is charged with five counts of distribution of methamphetamine in Sacramento County. He was arraigned after his arrest today. His next court date is May 6, 2014.
(docket # 2:14-cr-71 JAM)
Ruben Luis Vega, 27, of North Highlands, is charged with two counts of distributing methamphetamine in Sacramento County. He was arrested on March 19, 2014, and arraigned the next day. His next court date is April 16, 2014.
(docket # 2:14-cr-68 KJM)
Antonio Reyna, 33, of Sacramento is charged with being a felon in possession of a Ruger .223-caliber rifle. Reyna was arrested on March 19, 2014 and arraigned the next day. His next court date is April 15, 2014.
(docket # 2:14-cr-0LKK)
John Greer, 31, of Carmichael, and Julius White, 32, of Sacramento, are charged with unlawfully transferring a Winchester sawed-off shotgun. They were arraigned and their next court date is April 18, 2014.
(docket # 2:14-cr-073 GEB)
Donald Brown, 23, of Sacramento, is charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm: .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol and a Norinco rifle.
(docket # 2:14-cr-074 MCE)
Benjamin Martinez, 30, of Sacramento, was arrested today on a criminal complaint, charging him with distribution of methamphetamine. He made an initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Dale A. Drozd. His next court date is April 3, 2014.
(docket # 2:14-mj-063 DAD)
Five of the indictments were part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. The OCDETF program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.
All defendants are in custody. At arraignment, the defendants entered pleas of not guilty. If convicted, the defendants face sentences from five years to life in prison. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. When prosecuted in federal court, drug traffickers typically receive much harsher sentences. In addition to the longer sentences imposed there is no early release on parole in the federal system.
The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.