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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Almost Four Dozen Suspected Meth And Heroin Traffickers Indicted; Officials Make Arrests In North County Sweep

Eighteen suspected methamphetamine and heroin traffickers were arrested during pre-dawn raids around the North County today.

More than 200 agents and detectives from the multi-agency North County Regional Gang Task Force made the arrests in Oceanside, Vista, Escondido and elsewhere in the North County. Task force members confiscated 35 weapons during the course of the investigation. Among the weapons seized were hand guns, semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, including a 12-gauge Street Sweeper semiautomatic.

These arrests are associated with the unsealing of 15 grand jury indictments today charging 46 defendants with various narcotics trafficking crimes, including conspiracy plus importation, distribution and possession of methamphetamine. A few defendants were charged with heroin trafficking.

“The number and types of weapons seized in this investigation are troubling,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “We will to continue to target these well-armed drug traffickers who operate in our neighborhoods and put all of us at risk – especially our children.”

The North County Regional Gang Task Force is a multi-agency group including the FBI, ATF, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Homeland Security Investigations and police departments in Oceanside and Carlsbad, with assistance from other federal and local law enforcement agencies as well.

Daphne Hearn, FBI Special Agent in Charge, said: “Today's arrests by the North County Regional Gang Task Force are the result of a long-term multi-agency investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies working together. The FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to make our communities a safer place.”

"It is only by the extremely hard work, commitment, and passion from the collaborative North County Gang Task Force that made Operation Corridor such a tremendous success,” said Oceanside police Chief Frank S. McCoy. “This operation is a great example of local and federal law enforcement agencies from all over San Diego joining together to combat drug traffickers in our community who threaten the safety and security of our citizens."

“ATF considers the North County Gang Task Force a critical partner in its long-term mission of combating violent crime and removing criminals from our communities as was shown in Operation Corridor,” said Steven J. Bogdalek, Special Agent in Charge ATF Los Angeles Field Division. “ATF will continue to dedicate federal resources and work with our local agencies in the pursuit of eradicating illegal firearm trafficking and criminal activity.”

“Operation Corridor exemplifies the good work done by multiple agencies in San Diego County,” said San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore. “This is a multi-faceted approach to reducing violent crime, and those who perpetrate it. This investigation is a prime example of how effective Intelligence Led Policing can be with respect to targeting prolific, criminal offenders and managing law enforcement resources. Operation Corridor has been extremely effective in restoring quality of life to our residents in the North County along the 78 corridor.”

“I commend all of the law enforcement professionals in the San Diego area who worked tirelessly in this coordinated effort to combat the threats that violence and fear tactics pose to public safety in our communities,” said Derek Benner, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations San Diego.

DEFENDANTS    
Case Number: 13cr1128-BEN
LAURA CRUZ
RAUL ALVARADO
ROBERT RODRIGUEZ
CARRIE BROWN-RODRIGUEZ ANTHONY PALAFOX
JESSICA HOLGUIN
ROBERT AGUILAR
CHRISTIAN GARDUNO
ERICK GARCIA-MARTINEZ JOSHUA SANCHEZ
TRAVIS JOB
BRIAN RAMIREZ
ANDY ESPINOZA
LORI STORY
ANGEL OLMOS
BRAD WOOLARD
JOSE ANTONIO
EMILY BAKER
MONORIN PHIAKEO
JESSICA KISNER
HECTOR MEDRANO
FRANKIE KING
Already in custody
Already in custody
Already in custody
Arrested 4/15/13 Arrested 4/17/13 Arrested 4/17/13
At Large
Already in custody
At Large
Arrested 4/17/13 Arrested 4/17/13 Arrested 4/17/13 Arrested 4/17/13 Arrested 4/17/13
At Large
Arrested 4/17/13
Already in custody
At Large
Arrested 4/17/13
At Large
Arrested 4/17/13 Arrested 4/17/13
 
 
Summary of Charges

Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846 - Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine; Title 21, United States Code, Sections 952, 960 (b) (1) (H) and 963 – Conspiracy to Import Methamphetamine; Title 21, United States Code, Section 841 (a) (1) – Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute

 
Case Number: 13cr1238BEN
LYDIA LUCIO
DAVID GAMEZ
ANA ALVIZOVITAL
ERROL WHITE
RUDOLPH FIGUEROA

Arrested 4/17/13
Arrested 4/17/13
Already in Custody
Arrested 4/17/13
Arrested 4/17/13

 
 
Summary of Charges
Title 21, United States Code, Sections 952, 960 (b) (2) (A) - Conspiracy to Import Heroin; Title 21, United States Code Sections 952, 960 and 963 – Conspiracy to Import Heroin
 
Case Number: 1232BEN
ALEXANDRA AGUIRRE Arrested 4/17/13  
 
Summary of Charges
Title 21, United States Code, Sections 952, 960 – Importation of Heroin
 
Case Number: 13cr1239MMA
THOMAS MEDINA
PABLO DIAZ

Arrested 4/17/13
Arrested 4/17/13

 
 
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
 
Case Number: 13cr1237L
STEVEN HERNANDEZ
JUAN URIBE
Arrested 4/17/13
Already in Custody
 
 
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
 
Case Number: 13cr1243BEN
ROBERT SARMIENTO Arrested 4/17/13  
 
Summary of Charges
Title 21, United States Code, Section 841 (a) (1) – Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute; Title 18, United States Code, Section 922 (g) (1) - Felon in possession of a firearm
 
Case Number: 13cr1242AJB
CARLOS RIVERA Arrested 4/17/13  
 
Summary of Charges
Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846 - Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine; Title 18, United States Code, Section 922 (g) (1) - Felon in possession of a firearm
 
Case Number: 13cr1241BEN
STEVEN NORTH
ROBERT AGUILAR
Arrested 4/17/13
At Large
 
 
Summary of Charges
Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B) - Distribution of Methamphetamine; Title 18, United States Code, Section 922 (g) (1) - Felon in possession of a firearm
 
Case Number: 13cr1231JAH
JAVIER ALVAREZ Already in custody  
 
Summary of Charges
Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) - Distribution of Methamphetamine
 
Case Number: 13cr1244W
PAUL WOODS At Large  
 
Summary of Charges
Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) - Distribution of Methamphetamine
 
Case Number: 13cr1233BEN
ARMANDO ARELLANO Already in Custody  
 
Summary of Charges
Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) - Distribution of Methamphetamine
 
Case Number: 13cr1234WQH
RUDY BLANCO
AMANDA KOPP
Arrested 4/17/13 Arrested 4/17/13  
 
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) and (b) (1) (B) (viii) – Distribution of Methamphetamine
 
Case Number: 13cr1240L
GEORGE MOLINA
ULYSSES RAMOS
Already in Custody
Already in Custody
 
 
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) and (b) (1) (B) (viii) – Possession of Methamphetamine with intent to distribute
 
Case Number: 13cr1235JAH
ROUANNE DIAZ
DEANDRA COX
Arrested 4/17/13
Already in custody
 
 
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) and (b) (1) (B) (viii) – Distribution of Methamphetamine
 
Case Number: 13cr1236GPC
ADAM ESPINO Arrested 4/17/13  
 
Summary of Charges
Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a) (1) - Distribution of Methamphetamine
 
AGENCIES

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Oceanside Police Department
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
San Diego County Sheriff's Department
Homeland Security Investigations
Carlsbad Police Department

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