News and Press Releases

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Members of Organization Trafficking in Cocaine and Methamphetamine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2012

A federal grand jury sitting in East St. Louis, has returned an eleven count indictment charging ten individuals with being members of a large drug trafficking organization, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.

An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge and is entitled to a fair trial at which the Government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Jesus Orlando Mendez-Velasquez, 32, a citizen of Mexico who most recently resided in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Gonzalo Nunez-Camacho, 38, a citizen of Mexico who most recently resided in West Valley City, Utah were each charged with Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine (Count 1); Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine (Count 2); and Interstate Travel in Support of Racketeering (Count 11).

Jose Ivan Mejia-Chavez, 23, a citizen of Mexico who most recently resided in St. Louis, Missouri, was charged with Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine (Count 1); Illegal Re-Entry after Deportation (Count 3); and Interstate Travel in Support of Racketeering (Count 10).

Maria Elena Rico Lopez, 36, a citizen of Mexico who most recently resided in St. Louis, Missouri, was charged with Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine (Count 1); and Entry Into the United States Without Inspection (Count 5).

Victor Manuel Diaz-Lucas, 30, a citizen of Mexico who most recently resided in Berkley, Missouri; Maria Guadalupe Diaz-Lucas, 32, a citizen of Mexico who most recently resided in Sandy, Utah; Juan Miguel Mendez-Velasquez, 35, of Tijuana, Mexico; Vincente Lopez, 38, a citizen of Mexico, who most recently resided in Madison, Illinois; and Henry David Brooks, 52, of Madison, Illinois, were each charged with Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine (Count 1).

Victor Castaneda, 39, a citizen of Mexico who most recently resided in Madison, Illinois, was charged with Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine (Count 1); Entry Into the United States Without Inspection (Count 4); and four counts of Unlawful Distribution of Cocaine (Counts 6, 7, 8, and 9).

Upon conviction, the counts in the indictment carry the following potential maximum penalties:

Counts 1 and 2: 10 years to life in prison, $10,000,000 fine, Not less than 5 years supervised release

Count 3: Not more than 2 years in prison, $250,000 fine, Not more than 1 years supervised release

Counts 4 and 5: Not more than 6 months in prison, $5000 fine, Not more than 1 year supervised release

Counts 6, 7, 8, and 9: Not more than 20 years in prison, $1,000,000, At least 3 years supervised release

Counts 10 and 11: Not more than 5 years in prison, $250,000 fine, Not more than 3 years supervised release

In addition to the criminal counts, the indictment contains a forfeiture allegation, which seeks the forfeiture of $35,738.00 of United States currency seized during the investigation of this case, and drug proceeds of $1,500,000.

Evidence in support of the indictment was obtained in an investigation which was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF initiative is designed to bring federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and resources together to identify, target and dismantle large national and international drug trafficking organizations. Participating agencies include the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI), U.S. Marshal Service, the Granite City Police Department, the Fairview Heights Police Department, the Collinsville Police Department, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the St. Louis County (Missouri) Police Department, the St. Charles County (Missouri) Sheriff’s Department, and the Nebraska State Patrol. This case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Randy G. Massey for prosecution.

 

 

 

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