News and Press Releases

More Defendants Sentenced for Murder/Marijuana Grow House Conspiracy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2013

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, Michael J. De Palma, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and J.D. Patterson, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, announced the sentencings of defendants Gilberto Santiesteban Jr., Darvis Santiesteban, Gilberto Santiesteban, Sr., Tomy Gonzalez and Lisa Gonzalez all of Miami, and Norge Manduley, of Hialeah, before U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore.

According to court documents and statement, the defendants and other co-conspirators operated an extensive network of hydroponic marijuana grow houses throughout South Florida. In 2009, a large quantity of marijuana belonging to the organization was stolen. Members of the organization set out to find the people responsible for the theft. On June 28, 2009, Gilberto Santiesteban, Jr., Norge Manduley, along with co-conspirators Derrick Santiesteban, and Juan Felipe CastaƱeda kidnapped the individual who they thought was responsible for the theft of the marijuana. During the abduction, the individual was shot and killed.

Gilberto Santiesteban Jr. was sentenced to 360 months in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release after having previously pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to commit kidnapping (Counts 1, 2, and 3).

Darvis Santiesteban was sentenced to 262 months in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release after having previously pled guilty to Counts 1 and 2 of the indictment. Count 1 charged him with conspiracy to possess one thousand (1,000) or more marijuana plants with the intent to distribute and Count 2 charged him with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Gilberto Santiesteban, Sr., was sentenced to 120 months in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release after having previously pled guilty to Count 1 of the indictment charging him with conspiracy to possess 1,000 or more marijuana plants with the intent to distribute.

Norge Manduley was sentenced to 240 months in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release after having previously been convicted at trial of one count of conspiracy to possess less than one hundred (100) marijuana plants with the intent to distribute.

Tomy Gonzalez was sentenced to 195 months in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release after having previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess one thousand (1000) or more marijuana plants with the intent to distribute.

Lisa Gonzalez was sentenced to 146 months in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release after having previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess one thousand (1000) or more marijuana plants with the intent to distribute.

The following individuals were previously sentenced for their participation in the conspiracy:

Derrick Santiesteban was sentenced to life in prison on charges of drug, money laundering, and kidnapping with death resulting.

Juan Felipe CastaƱeda was sentenced to 360 months in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, on charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana.

Alexander Santiesteban was sentenced to 262 months in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, on charges of conspiracy to possess one thousand (1,000) or more marijuana plants with the intent to distribute and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

German Silvestro was sentenced to 144 months in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. David Silva, Francisco Javier Diaz, Alejandro Pimentel, and John Villalonga were each sentenced to 120 months in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. Raul Fabian Ramirez, Jr. was sentenced to 46 months in prison, to be followed by 2 years of supervised release. Each of these defendants previously pled guilty to Count 1 of the indictment, charging them with conspiracy to possess 1,000 or more marijuana plants with the intent to distribute.

Yadira Santiesteban was sentenced to 70 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Dayana Castellanos was sentenced to 37 months in prison, to be followed by 2 years of supervised release. Estrella J. Mijares was sentenced to 37 months in prison, to be followed by 1 year of supervised release. Each of these defendants pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, IRS-CI, and Miami-Dade Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Athas and Pat Sullivan.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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