FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 25, 2012
For Information Contact:
Fifteen People Arrested in Drug Conspiracy,
Accused of Distributing Cocaine in Washington, D.C. Area
- 14 Kilograms of Cocaine, More Than $200,000 and Three Firearms Seized in Searches –
WASHINGTON – Fifteen people were arrested this week on federal charges in an ongoing investigation by the FBI and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) into a large-scale narcotics trafficking organization that operated in the Washington, D.C. area.
The arrests and charges were announced today by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the MPD.
All of the defendants are charged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. If convicted, the defendants face a mandatory minimum of 10 years of incarceration and maximum terms of life in prison.
The FBI and MPD made a series of arrests and executed search warrants on May 23, 2012, and again today. A total of 14 locations were searched in Maryland, and four automobiles were searched and seized. Over the two days, authorities seized about $237,400 in cash, 14 kilograms of cocaine, more than 11 grams of heroin, marijuana, and three handguns.
The defendants are accused of taking part in drug trafficking activities of an organization that brought large quantities of cocaine into the Washington, D.C. area from southern Texas. The charges involve the distribution of drugs from August 2011 until the arrests this week.
Those arrested include an alleged supplier of the drugs, Daniel Zintura-Flores, 38, of Laurel, Md., as well as members of his family, including his wife, Maria Gaytan, 41, also of Laurel, and his son, Daniel Zintura Jr., 19, of Weslaco Texas.
Daniel Zintura-Flores was arrested May 23, 2012 at a motel in Laurel. A search of the Durango truck that he had been driving turned up roughly 13 kilograms of cocaine. A search of the residence of Zintura-Flores led to the seizure of more than $198,000 in cash.
“This operation reflects our determination to disrupt and dismantle organizations that seek to poison our community with cocaine and other illicit narcotics,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “Working with our law enforcement partners, we stopped a major narcotics ring that was funneling large amounts of cocaine to the area.”
“These coordinated arrests put a stop to the flow of cocaine smuggled from southern Texas to the area by this alleged drug trafficking ring,” said Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin. “Today’s actions are the result of the dedicated work of FBI agents and our partner law enforcement agencies on the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force to keep our communities safe from these dangerous drugs.”
“Members of our Narcotics and Special Investigations Division, working in conjunction with our federal partners, continue to go after suppliers of illicit narcotics,” said Police Chief Lanier. “This operation certainly highlights the impact we are making and our efforts to keep our communities safe.”
The others arrested include: Walter David Avalos-Lopez, 24, of Hyattsville, Md.; Jose A. Amaya-Ortiz, 34, of Weslaco, Texas; Alicia Gaytan, 47, of Laurel, Md.; Carlos Gaytan, 24, of Greenbelt, Md.; Henry Moises Gomez Lopez, 34, of Hyattsville, Md.; Jay Dominique Isaacs, 34, of Beltsville, Md.; Anthony Antoine Jones, 37, of Washington, D.C.; Eric Jag Kapoor, 38, of Baltimore, Md.; Che Rasha Miller, 39, of Washington, D.C.; Andrew Barton Slavinski, 33, of Riverdale, Md.; Sunny Jo Schwinn, 32, of Riverdale, Md., and Brandon Alexander Webb, 30, of Washington, D.C.
Except for Jay Dominique Isaacs, all defendants have appeared in court and have pleaded not guilty before the Honorable Magistrate Judge Alan Kay. They are being detained pending detention hearings. Isaacs is scheduled to appear in court on May 26, 2012.
The filing of a criminal charge is merely a formal allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.
This prosecution grew out of the efforts of the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, a multi-agency team that conducts comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the nationwide 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.
In announcing the charges, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director McJunkin, and Chief Lanier thanked those who pursued the investigation from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, MPD, and other agencies. In addition, they expressed appreciation to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, which assisted in the investigation.
They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the investigation from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys William O’Malley and Thomas A. Gillice, who are prosecuting the matter.