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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

San Jose Gang Member Sentenced To 19 Years In Prison For Trafficking Crystal Methamphetamine And Possessing Guns

Ninth Gang Member Convicted on Federal Narcotics Trafficking Charges as Part of Proactive FBI Operation

SAN JOSE – Eduardo Arriaga, AKA “Moreno,” was sentenced yesterday to 228 months (19 years) in prison for trafficking crystal methamphetamine and using a firearm during his narcotics trafficking operation, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett.  The sentence was imposed by the Honorable Edward J. Davila, U.S. District Judge, after a federal jury convicted Arriaga in December 2015 of the methamphetamine distribution and firearms charges. 

Arriaga, 41, of San Jose, was the eighth defendant sentenced in a proactive operation by the FBI’s Santa Clara County Violent Gang Task Force targeting gang members selling methamphetamine in Santa Clara County.  According to the evidence presented at trial, Arriaga has been a Sureño gang member for over 20 years.  On April 29, 2012, Arriaga possessed a pound of crystal methamphetamine and sold a half-ounce of it to a confidential informant working for the FBI.  Arriaga, believing the confidential informant was a Sureño gang member from Southern California, conducted the drug deal out of his garage in San Jose while armed with a handgun.  Approximately two months later, in the same garage, the confidential informant witnessed Arriaga with approximately a half-pound of additional crystal methamphetamine and saw Arriaga sell a portion of the methamphetamine to another Sureño gang member.  During that drug deal, Arriaga had two different handguns in his garage. 

Arriaga was indicted on July 31, 2013, and charged with one count of distributing methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841, and one count of possessing firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).  After a one-week trial, a jury convicted him of both counts.  In reaching its verdict, the jury found that Arriaga possessed 50 grams or more of crystal methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it. 

In addition to Arriaga’s prison term, Judge Davila imposed a five-year term of supervised release and a $200 special assessment.

Arriaga’s indictment was part of the FBI’s crackdown on Sureño gangs in Santa Clara County.  The FBI’s investigation into these gangs culminated in eight separate indictments alleging the distribution and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine throughout Santa Clara County.  The defendants charged in the crackdown include the following: (1) the reputed “matriarch,” of 8th Street Gilroy (Maria Salinas); (2) the co-conspirator mother and daughter combination associated with the Sureño gang “Varrio Sur Town” (Laura Garcia and Vanessa Pulido), and (3) known members of the Sureño gangs “Colonias,” “Varrio Mexicanos Locos,” “Poco Way,” and “Varrio Paisanos Locos.”  The status of the matters against these additional defendants is as follows: 

Defendant

Charges

Docket Number

Sentence

LAURA GARCIA

a/k/a “Blinky”

 

Distribution of Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

 

CR 13-00508 LHK

9/24/14

65 months

 

VANESSA PULIDO

a/k/a “Bunny”

Distribution of Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

CR 13-00508 LHK

12/9/14

24 months home detention

RAFAEL MEDINA

a/k/a “Conejo”

Distribution and Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

CR 13-00507 LHK

10/22/14

75 months

RAUL VALLE MORFIN a/k/a “Green Eyes”

Distribution of Methamphetamine

CR 13-00509 DLJ

6/19/14

78 months

JESUS QUINONES

a/k/a “Canas”

Distribution of Methamphetamine

CR 13-00503 DLJ

10/9/14

60 months

JAIRO QUINTANA

a/k/a “Hido”

Distribution of Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

 

CR 13-00506 LHK

7/23/14

70 months

 

MARIA SALINAS

a/k/a “Grumpy”

Distribution of Methamphetamine

CR 13-00504 LHK

6/4/14

26 months

Assistant United States Attorneys Marissa Harris and Stephen Meyer prosecuted the case with the assistance of Nina Burney, and Ryka Barghi.   The case is the result of an investigation by the FBI.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Updated December 27, 2016