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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 13, 2013

28 Arrested And 19 Firearms Seized Following Investigation Of Suspected Methamphetamine Traffickers

A contingent of 150 federal, state and local law enforcement officials arrested 28 people and seized 19 firearms early yesterday – including fully-automatic and semi-automatic assault rifles, silencers and high-capacity magazines - in connection with a year-long investigation of major methamphetamine traffickers.

Many of the defendants are scheduled to be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Bartick at 1:30 p.m. today. Prosecutors will be available for interviews after court.

The arrests – from Spring Valley, La Mesa and Jamul to National City, Chula Vista and San Diego - were based on three grand jury indictments of 33 suspected methamphetamine traffickers unsealed in federal court Tuesday. The charges include conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Three defendants were still at large.

During the predawn raids, agents seized about 26 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated $291,200 street value; a pound of cocaine with estimated $12,800 street value; $151,000 in cash; plus weapons that included an AR-15, a TEC 9, a Glock semi-automatic handgun, bolt action rifles and five silencers. Eight of the guns and the silencers were found at one home on Millar Ranch Road in Jamul. Authorities also discovered indoor marijuana grows with hundreds of plants in two apartment units in Spring Valley.

The investigation, dubbed “Red Menace,” involved federal wiretaps, undercover drug buys and extensive surveillance. Numerous defendants are documented members of gangs, including Skyline, Emerald Hills and Oriental Killer Boys. Rival criminal street gangs often cross gang affiliation for the purpose of facilitating drug distribution.

The arrests are the latest in a series of large-scale multi-agency crackdowns on street gang activity in San Diego County neighborhoods. Including yesterday’s action, more than 180 defendants have been charged in various federal gang prosecutions since January 2012, with more than 80 guilty pleas so far. Most charges are drug- and gun- related; Sentences have ranged from 10 to 21 years in federal prison.

“We are committed to keeping neighborhoods out of the clutches of gang members who deal in drugs and who stash deadly, high-powered automatic weapons in their homes, next door to unwitting neighbors,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

U.S. Attorney Duffy praised the coordinated effort of the law enforcement agencies of the East County Regional Gang Task Force under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force ("OCDETF") for the coordinated team effort culminating in the charges filed in these cases. The OCDETF program was created to consolidate and utilize all law enforcement resources in this country’s battle against major drug trafficking.

San Diego FBI Special Agent In Charge, Daphne Hearn, commented, “As our communities are faced with increasing threats of crime and violence, the FBI and our partners with the East County Regional Gang Task Force, will work together to confront these threats and make our communities safer.”

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said, "This operation is on-going. It's a team effort that requires careful planning and persistent follow-through. Our aim is straightforward: take back communities for law abiding families and protect them from gang members and drug dealers who threaten their safety."

In the 1990s, San Diego County had the dubious distinction of being called the “Meth Capital” of the country, and East County was the hub of meth-related activity. Until recent years, methamphetamine was typically produced in small to medium quantities in local clandestine laboratories in homes, garages, storage units, apartments, and motel rooms.

Because of a law enforcement crackdown and policies that restrict access to ingredients needed to manufacture meth, San Diego County today has very few meth labs. But now, most of the methamphetamine available for sale here is linked to the sophisticated manufacturing and distribution operations of international drug cartels and local street gangs.

While law enforcement efforts have curtailed local manufacturing, methamphetamine use is still one of the biggest drug-related threats in the district - and the country.

And it’s coming across the border in significant quantities. While there has been a decline in the amount of marijuana and cocaine being smuggled through our district, there has been a significant increase in the amount of methamphetamine.

Border officials seized 427 loads of methamphetamine at San Diego ports of entry in FY 2012 compared to 364 in FY 2011. That’s a 17 percent increase. In Imperial County, the amount of methamphetamine seized jumped by almost 100 percent, from 745 kg to 1,442 kg.

DEFENDANTS    
     
Case Number: 13cr0492-GPC
Pedro Millan
Carlos Contreras Sanchez
Laura Millan
Princeton Beon Franks
Eduardo Sanchez
Gilberto Lamas
Adolfo Siordia
Rosita Eunice Corrales - Fugitive
Nicholas Oliveri
William Kilmer
Stephanie Cleveland
James Cheevers
Raymond Lopez
Jasmine Millan
Daniel Erique Millan-Aispuro
Ascarelli Lopez

Summary of Charges

Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846 - Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine
Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) - Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent To Distribute
Maximum Penalties: Life in Custody; Minimum Custody: 10 years; Maximum Fine: $4 million
Case Number: 13cr0491-GPC

Christopher Robles
Sarat Sek - Fugitive
Ronald Bonoan
Shannon White
Robert Duren
Joshua Wayne McGuire
Robert McKinney
Alfredo Barias
Robert Young
David Marinelli
Cory Evans
Keith Lusk
Pamela Miranda
Scott Smith

Summary of Charges
Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846 - Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine
Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) - Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent To Distribute
Maximum Penalties: Life in Custody; Minimum Custody: 10 years; Maximum Fine: $4 million
Case Number: 13cr0493-GPC
Roberto Carrillo Gonzalez
Cedric Gregory
Marcel Clady
Summary of Charges
Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846 - Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine
Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) - Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent To
Distribute Maximum Penalties: Life in Custody; Minimum Custody: 10 years; Maximum Fine: $4 million
AGENCIES
Federal Bureau of Investigation
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
La Mesa Police Department
San Diego County District Attorney’s Office
San Diego County Probation Department
El Cajon Police Department
San Diego Police Department
Chula Vista Police Department
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Marshals Service
U.S. Border Patrol
California Highway Patrol
Drug Enforcement Administration’s Narcotics Task Force
Bureau of Prisons
Internal Revenue Service

An indictment or complaint itself is not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged.

The defendants are presumed innocent until the Government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated July 23, 2015