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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 4, 2022

12 Defendants Charged with Federal Drug Trafficking and Firearms Offenses in a Multi-Agency Operation

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Following an 18-month investigation targeting local criminal street gangs in Bakersfield, 12 defendants have been charged federally and another 17 defendants were arrested on state charges. The charges include drug trafficking, conspiracy, and firearms offenses.

Seized in the operation were 13 firearms, over 15,000 suspected fentanyl pills, approximately 990 grams of fentanyl, approximately 10 pounds of methamphetamine, approximately 7 pounds of heroin, approximately 112 pounds of marijuana , and over $60,000 in U.S. currency.

“Today’s announcement is the result of a coordinated federal, state, and local law enforcement action, and I commend all of our partners for their hard work on this case,” said U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert. “It is precisely this kind of coordinated effort that allows us to most effectively protect our communities and hold gang members accountable for their crimes.”

“The continued support of the US Attorney’s Office and our federal partners is a key element in truly impacting violent and deadly criminal activity in our community,” said Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Terry. “We will continue these collaborative investigations to hold those who victimize our community accountable.”

“The Kern County Sheriff’s Office is grateful for the cooperation we have with all the law enforcement agencies in the County of Kern,” said Sheriff Donny Youngblood, “These outstanding relationships allow us to work together on the mission of taking illegal drugs off the streets to make it a safer place for all the residents and visitors of our great county.”

“The success of yesterday’s operation represents another important stride in our ongoing effort to combat gang-related crime in the Central Valley and all of Northern California and also highlights the importance of law enforcement partnerships across the spectrum,” said HSI San Francisco/NorCal Special Agent in Charge Tatum King. “I’m proud of our agents’ exhaustive investigative work in bringing these subjects to justice. HSI will continue to work closely with Bakersfield PD and all of our other local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to dismantle these dangerous criminal enterprises and hold their members accountable for their flagrant disregard for the law.”

Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said, “Congratulations to all our law enforcement partners on their efforts in this operation which will certainly disrupt criminal street gangs and their distribution of narcotics.”

The federal defendants charged include:

William Arthur Poush, 43, of Bakersfield, charged with distribution of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance;

Rosa Fernandez, 43, of Bakersfield, charged with distribution of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance;

Timothy Robert Hingston, 39, of N. Hollywood, charged with distribution of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance;

Spencer Matthew Hopper, 35, of Montrose, charged with distribution of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance;

Dale Vincent Perez, 39, of Bakersfield, charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance;

Dale Wesley Hubbard, 49, of Bakersfield, charged with distribution of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance;

Darlene Crystal Viera, 40, of Bakersfield, charged with distribution of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance;

Manuel Yanes, 25, of Bakersfield, charged with distribution of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance;

Jorge Luis Yanes, 28, of Bakersfield, charged with distribution of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance;

Luis Mauricio Castenon, 33, of Bakersfield, charged with distribution of a controlled substance; and

David Garcia, 35, of Bakersfield, charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and felon in possession of a firearm.

Bryan Steven Reyes, 28, of Bakersfield , charged with distribution of a controlled substance.

These cases are the product of an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bakersfield Police Department, the Kern County Probation Department, the Kern County District Attorney’s Office, and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), and the California Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Massey is prosecuting the cases.

If convicted, the defendants face various maximum sentences between 10 years and life in prison and $250,000 to $10 million in fines. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Updated November 4, 2022