SAN FRANCISCO – Seventeen defendants were named in a federal criminal complaint alleging a criminal conspiracy to traffic heroin announced Acting United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge John J. Martin, and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Acting Special Agent in Charge Andrew Toth.
The complaint, unsealed today, alleges the following defendants participated in the conspiracy:
According to the complaint, beginning in August of 2014 or earlier, the defendants conspired with one another to manufacture, possess, and distribute heroin. The complaint describes a sophisticated operation including the receipt, processing and distribution of the drugs.
Eutimio Reyna-Ceron is alleged to have managed the day-to-day distribution operation by, among other things, taking calls from customers and dispatching couriers to deliver drugs to the customers. He is alleged to have directed the distribution of about a kilogram of heroin per week. According to the complaint, Marcelino Reyna-Ceron allegedly managed the money generated by the illegal drug proceeds with the help of Elizabeth Reyna-Rodriguez, who maintained the group’s bank accounts. Marcelino Reyna-Ceron also allegedly obtained cars for the couriers to use when distributing the drugs. Cornelio Reyna-Ceron is alleged to have sold drugs to confidential government informants and to have delivered money to suppliers. Defendants Medina, Solorio, and Chavez are alleged to have been couriers who processed, prepared and delivered the drugs.
Defendants Herrera and Doval-Duran are alleged to have run separate distribution networks and to have shared intelligence with Eutimio Reyna-Ceron regarding sources of supply and law enforcement activity in their area. Herrera and another drug dealer who is alleged to have frequently purchased heroin from him, Robert Erickson, are charged with distributing heroin that resulted in the overdose death of a Santa Rosa woman in September.
Defendants Toledo, Mondragon, and Sandoval are alleged to have taken part in the conspiracy by supplying the organization with drugs. Mondragon and his lieutenants, Rangel and Gudino, were arrested in an August 12, 2015, raid. In that raid, law enforcement agents found over twenty kilograms of heroin and just under ten kilograms of 99.1% pure methamphetamine hidden in secret compartments inside car tires in Mondragon’s garage. On the same day, officers also arrested Barbosa, who worked as a courier for Mondragon. William Anderson is alleged to have been a frequent customer of Mondragon, purchasing an ounce of heroin each day for resale to others.
The complaint charges that all defendants were engaged in a conspiracy to distribute one kilogram of heroin or more, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, which carries a ten-year mandatory minimum sentence. Additionally, a number of defendants were also charged with violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) for distribution or possession with intent to distribute heroin. The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of 21 U.S.C. §841(a)(1) and 846 is life imprisonment and a fine of $10,000,000. Herrera and Erickson are charged with distribution of heroin resulting in death, which carries a twenty-year mandatory minimum sentence. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553. A complaint merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Most of the defendants were taken into custody during raids that took place at ten separate locations yesterday. The locations included five Santa Rosa homes, as well as homes in Manteca, Modesto, Rohnert Park, San Jose, and Newman, Calif. An additional defendant, Jose Ricardo Chavez-Yanez, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine after he was allegedly found “attempting to flush suspected methamphetamine down the drain of a sink in the garage,” during the raid of one of the homes. All the defendants, with the exception of Gudino-Urbina and Erickson made an initial appearance today before the Honorable Sallie Kim, United States Magistrate Judge. Gudino-Urbina is a fugitive and Erickson currently is incarcerated on other charges. The defendants will appear before the court again in a series of further hearings that will begin on Tuesday, December 15, 2015.
The prosecution is the result of a two-year joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, and Santa Rosa Police Department. The prosecution team is also thankful for the efforts of the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office whose support provided valuable assistance.