News and Press Releases

Forty-Three Defendants Convicted In Operation Garlic Press

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2012

SAN JOSE, Calif. – As of today, 43 of the 46 defendants charged federally in Operation Garlic Press, a multi-agency, law enforcement initiative that was conducted in Gilroy, California in October 2011, have pled guilty in federal court, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced. Lilia Valderrama pled guilty this morning, before United States District Court Judge Lucy H. Koh in San Jose, to Possession with Intent to Distribute and Distribution of methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841. She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 13, 2013.

In March, 2010, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) began an undercover operation with the Gilroy Police Department and the California Highway Patrol. That operation targeted individuals, including gang members, who commit violent criminal acts. The investigation focused on individuals operating in the California counties of Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito. Prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office and the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office, working together, charged a total of 118 defendants. The federal operation’s primary objective was to target subjects who trafficked in firearms and narcotics, primarily methamphetamine, while the state focused on vehicles that had been stolen or were the subject of insurance fraud. Among the items seized were 86 vehicles; 52 firearms (including several sawed off shotguns, stolen firearms, and firearms with obliterated serial numbers) and methamphetamine, much of which was extremely pure (some100%), with a street value of more than $100,000.

In addition to Valderrama, 42 other federal Operation Garlic Press defendants have pled guilty in federal court. Their names and statuses are listed below.

Arianna Baca pled guilty on July 26, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. Baca was sentenced Nov. 1, 2012, to 78 months in prison, to be followed by 48 months of supervised release

Izaeus Banda pled guilty on March 12, 2012, to a violation of 21 USC 841. Banda was sentenced on June 4, 2012, to 60 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release.

Scott Burns pled guilty on March 12, 2012, to violations of 18 USC 922(g)(1), 26 USC 5861, and 21 USC 841. Burns was sentenced on June 4, 2012, to 100 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release.

Frank Cardenas pled guilty on April 23, 2012, to violations of 18 USC 922(g)(1) and 21 USC 841. Cardenas was sentenced on July 9, 2012, to 60 months in prison to be followed by 60 months of supervised release.

Arturo Cervantes pled guilty on April 2, 2012, to violations of 26 USC 5861 and 21 USC 841. Cervantes was sentenced on Aug. 6, 2012, to 60 months in prison to be followed by 60 months of supervised release.

Christina Chavez, pled guilty on Aug 6, 2012, to a violation of 21 USC 844(a). Chavez was sentenced on Nov. 5, 2012, to 24 months in prison to be followed by 12 months of supervised release.

Yvonne Chavez pled guilty on July 9, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 7, 2013.

Juan Chavez-Ornelas pled guilty on March 5, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846, as well as 8 USC 1326. Chavez-Ornelas was sentenced on Aug. 6, 2012, to 87 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release.

Rodolfo Contreras pled guilty on March 14, 2012, to a violation of 21 USC 841. Contreras was sentenced on May 30, 2012, to 60 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release.

Melissa Duarte pled guilty on July 19, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 17, 2012.

Dagoberto Duran pled guilty on March 22, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. Duran was sentenced on Aug. 9, 2012, to 72 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release.

Desiree Flores pled guilty on June 28, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. Flores was sentenced on Nov. 15, 2012, to 60 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release.

Joshua Flores pled guilty on March 7, 2012, to violating 21 USC 841. He was sentence on May 23, 2012, to 180 months in prison, to be followed by120 months of supervised release.

Raymond Gallegos pled guilty on Oct. 1, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841; and 846. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 17, 2012.

Adrian Gamino pled guilty on Dec. 21, 2011, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. He was sentenced on March 7, 2012, to 240 months in prison, to be followed by120 months of supervised release.

Lorenzo Garcia pled guilty on April 18, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 13, 2013.

Jose Gonzalez pled guilty on Aug. 29, 2012, to violations of 18 USC 922(g)(1) and 21 USC 841 and 846. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 23, 2013.

Miguel Gonzalez pled guilty on Dec. 21, 2011, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. He was sentenced on March 7, 2012, to 240 months in prison, to be followed by 120 months of supervised release.

Gustavo Hernandez pled guilty on May 14, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. He was sentenced on Sept. 10, 2012, to 60 months in prison, to be followed by 48 months of supervised release.

Maria Hernandez pled guilty on Oct. 31, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 23, 2013.

Simon Hernandez pled guilty on May 21, 2012, to violating 21 USC 841. He was sentenced on Aug 6, 2012, to 84 months in prison, to be followed by 120 months of supervised release.

Frank Herrera pled guilty on April 2, 2012, to violations of 18 USC 922(g)(1) and 922(k). He was sentenced on June 18, 2012, to 57 months in prison, to be followed by 36 months of supervised release.

Henry Jones pled guilty on March 5, 2012, to violations of 18 USC 922(g)(1) and 922(k). He was sentenced on May 21, 2012, to 57 months in prison, to be followed by 36 months of supervised release.

Ricardo Landecho pled guilty on Dec. 3, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841and 846. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 25, 2013.

Frank Machado pled guilty on Jan. 19, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. He was sentenced on March 22, 2012, to 60 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release.

Diana Mayoral pled guilty on May 10, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. She was sentenced on Nov. 29, 2012, to 6 months in prison, to be followed by 48 months of supervised release.

Rosa Martinez pled guilty of June 7, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. She was sentenced on Nov. 15, 2012, to 70 months in prison, to be followed by 48 months of supervised release.

Joshua Moore pled guilty on April 19, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 21 USC 846. He was sentenced on Nov. 29, 2012, to 60 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release.

Addel Montero pled guilty on June 18, 2012, to violating of 21 USC 841 and was sentenced on Oct. 1, 2012, to 72 months in prison, to be followed by 48 months of supervised release.

Hugo Mora pled guilty on July 11, 2012, to violating of 21 USC 841. He was sentenced on Sept. 26, 2012, to 68 months in prison, to be followed by 48 months of supervised release.

KC Pries pled guilty on March 12, 2012, to violations of 18 USC 922(g)(1) and 26 USC 5861. Pries was sentenced in June 4, 2012, to 63 months in prison, to be followed by 36 months of supervised release.

Enrique Quintero pled guilty on July 9, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. He was sentenced on Oct. 15, 2012, to 240 months in prison, to be followed by 120 months of supervised release.

Rigoberto Ramirez pled guilty on July 16, 2012, to violations of 18 USC 922(g)(1) and 21 USC 841. He was sentenced on Oct. 22, 2012, to 60 months in prison, to be followed by 120 months of supervised release.

Robert Reddick pled guilty on Feb. 23, 2012, to violating 18 USC 922(g)(1). He was sentenced on June 7, 2012, to 9 months in prison, to be followed by 24 months of supervised release.

Cala Remick pled guilty on July 12, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. Remick is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 12, 2012.

Everardo Robles pled guilty on Feb. 16, 2012, to violations of 18 USC 922(g)(1) and 21 USC 846. He was sentenced on May 3, 2012, to 108 months in prison, to be followed by 120 months of supervised release.

Jose Romero pled guilty on July 26, 2012, to violations of 18 USC 922(g)(1), 26 USC 5861(d) and 21 USC 841. He was sentenced on Nov. 5, 2012, to 84 months in prison, to be followed by120 months of supervised release.

Michael Ruelas pled guilty on April 18, 2012, to violations of 18 USC 922(g)(1) as well as 21 USC 841 and 846. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 13, 2013.

David Sainz pled guilty on July 26, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. He was sentenced on Nov. 5, 2012, to 188 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release.

Jimmy Sandoval pled guilty on March 1, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. He was sentenced on May 31, 2012, to 70 months in prison, to be followed by 48 months of supervised release.

Leonardo Silga pled guilty on March 19, 2012, to violations of 18 USC 922(g)(1) and 21 USC 846. He was sentenced on Oct. 1, 2012, to 240 months in prison, to be followed by 120 months of supervised release.

Paul Zabala pled guilty on March 29, 2012, to violations of 21 USC 841 and 846. He was sentenced on July 12, 2012, to 180 months in prison, to be followed by120 months of supervised release.

Under federal law, Title 21 offenses address distribution and/or possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances (in these cases methamphetamine); the above Title 18 and Title 26 offenses address illegal possession and/or sale of firearms.

Please note: Any sentence following conviction is imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Thomas O’Connell and Daniel Kaleba are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are prosecuting the cases with the assistance of Tracey Andersen and Nina Williams. The prosecution is the result of a one and one-half year investigation by ATF and the Gilroy Police Department.

In addition to the ATF and the Gilroy Police Department, the following agencies provided support to this investigation: the California Highway Patrol; Salinas Police Department; Morgan Hill Police Department; Monterey County Sheriff’s Office; auto theft task forces from Monterey County, Santa Cruz County and Santa Clara County; the National Insurance Crime Bureau; the Western States Information Network; the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force; the United States Marshal’s Service; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

 

 

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