Five to Be Arraigned on Federal Drug and Weapons Charges after Agents Foil Imminent Attack Over Drug Debt
17 Firearms, Drugs, Police Gear, Stun Gun, and Counterfeit Currency
Recovered from Smyrna Apartment
ATLANTA, GA - NEMIAS CINTORA-GONZALEZ, 29, of Mexico; JORGE ARMANDO-REYES, 33, of Mexico; EDGAR CINTORA-GONZALEZ, 25, of Mexico; VICTOR HUGO MORALES-AVILA, 34, of Mexico; and ISRAEL EDGARDO REVERA-PACHECO, 27, of El Salvador; all of whom were residing in Smyrna, Georgia, will be arraigned at 11 a.m. today before United States Magistrate Judge E. Clayton Scofield after a federal grand jury indicted them on March 13, 2012, on drug and weapons-related charges. The charges in the indictment arose from a February 2, 2012, incident where federal and state agents executed a search warrant on an apartment in Smyrna, Georgia in order to stop an imminent attack on a fellow drug dealer. BRENDA PEREZ, 30, of Marietta, Georgia, was also arraigned on charges of concealing and failing to report the defendants’ alleged illegal drug activities.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of the case: “The agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Georgia Bureau of Investigation should be commended for taking swift action to prevent what appeared to be an imminent assault and for removing these allegedly dangerous drug traffickers along with their cache of firearms from the streets. This office will prosecute the drug dealers who inflict harm on our communities as well as those who protect the traffickers and conceal their illegal activities.”
“It is well documented that the Atlanta metropolitan area has become a breeding ground for Mexican-based organized crime fueled by drug trafficking,” said Harry S. Sommers, DEA Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division. “These traffickers engage in ruthless forms of violence in order to protect and defend their drugs and cash. In this case, they were brazen enough to possess of a multitude of police gear accompanied by a large cache of weapons. DEA and our federal, state and local law enforcement colleagues will not tolerate such actions and will continue to vigorously pursue those who continue to indulge in this dubious trade.”
Director of the GBI Vernon M. Keenan said: “This pro-active state and federal probe represents our resolve to seek out these violent drug traffickers and prevent their indiscriminate brutality from spilling onto our streets.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: While investigating a drug trafficking organization operating in metro-Atlanta, agents learned on February 2, 2012, that NEMIAS CINTORA-GONZALEZ had allegedly devised a plan to assault a fellow drug dealer because of an outstanding $2,700 drug debt. On that date, NEMIAS CINTORA-GONZALEZ was overheard speaking to another alleged drug associate about his plans to have four others with him the next morning when he inflicted physical injury on the fellow drug dealer.
A few hours later, agents conducting surveillance of the defendants’ apartment located at 2550 Cumberland Blvd., Apt. 812, in Smyrna, observed EDGAR CINTORA-GONZALEZ transferring two large black bags from the trunk of a white Honda Accord, registered to an alias of NEMIAS CINTORA-GONZALEZ, into the trunk of a white Suzuki Verona, registered to the wife of REVERA-PACHECO. At approximately 10:45 p.m. that same evening, agents executed a federal search warrant at the apartment, encountering ARMANDO-REYES, NEMIAS CINTORA-GONZALEZ, EDGAR CINTORA-GONZALEZ, MORALES-AVILA, REVERA-PACHECO, and PEREZ. During the search of the apartment and the Suzuki Verona, agents seized:
- thirteen handguns (including several semi-automatic firearms);
- four assault rifles;
- numerous magazines and ammunition for the weapons;
- one stun gun;
- two large crowbars;
- one large bolt cutter;
- police gear;
- a black ski mask, black turtle neck shirt, and black gloves;
- counterfeit U.S. Currency;
- zip ties; and
- a bulletproof vest.
All six defendants were arrested on federal complaints on February 2, 2012. BRENDA PEREZ was released on bond on March 8, 2012. The other defendants remain in custody.
The indictment, returned by the Grand Jury on March 13, 2012, charges NEMIAS CINTORA-GONZALEZ, ARMANDO-REYES, EDGAR CINTORA-GONZALEZ, MORALES-AVILA, and REVERA-PACHECO with conspiracy and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possession of a firearm by an illegal alien, and possession of counterfeit federal reserve notes. In addition, the indictment charged ARMANDO-REYES with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon based upon his 2002 conviction for armed robbery and kidnaping. The indictment also charged MORALES-AVILA with illegally re-entering the United States after being deported. Finally, the indictment charged PEREZ with misprision of a felony for concealing the illegal activities of the other defendants. PEREZ, for instance, leased the Smyrna apartment in her own name allegedly knowing that the other defendants would use the apartment to store drugs and weapons.
The charges against NEMIAS CINTORA-GONZALEZ, ARMANDO-REYES, EDGAR CINTORA-GONZALEZ, MORALES-AVILA, and REVERA-PACHECO carry a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000,000. PEREZ faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of up to $60,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site: www.justthinktwice.com.
This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation with valuable assistance provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Assistant United States Attorney Michael Herskowitz is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney's Public Information Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.