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Press Release

Eight Indicted in Multi-Million Dollar Drug Distribution and Money Laundering Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarad E. Hodes (619) 546-7432


SAN DIEGO – A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging eight defendants from Southern California and the Mexican state of Sinaloa with participation in conspiracies to distribute multiple controlled substances throughout the United States and to launder millions of dollars in cash proceeds from those drug sales.


Five of those defendants – Javier Felix-Bayardo, Rigoberto Munoz-Banuelos, Manuel Felix-Gutierrez, Hector Sandoval-Toloza, and Camilo Ayon-Mondragon – were charged in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana. Felix-Bayardo and Munoz-Banuelos, along with Gabriela Nunez, Mario Noriega-Osuna, and Margarito Rodriguez-Ochoa, were charged in a conspiracy to launder over $5 million in proceeds through the operation of dozens of bank accounts. Nunez was also charged with using $20,000 in drug proceeds for a down payment on a 2015 Dodge Durango. Munoz-Banuelos was also charged with bulk cash smuggling in connection with his attempt to transport $101,083 in cash to Mexico in a 2011 Ford F-150 truck.


According to an affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint in the case, Felix-Bayardo was the leader of this criminal network, whose members would distribute multiple drugs throughout the United States and then receive cash deposits into bank accounts opened in their own names and under aliases. The affidavit lists over 20 fraudulent accounts at Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank opened using falsified Mexican identification documents.


Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service and Homeland Security Investigations discovered that some of the same false identification documents had been used to rent two storage units in National City, California. On August 9, 2017, agents executed a search warrant at those storage units and seized approximately 26.5 kilograms of cocaine, 938 grams of methamphetamine, and 486 kilograms of marijuana, along with five firearms including an AR-15 style rifle modified to function as a machine gun capable of fully automatic fire.






As drugs like these flowed throughout the United States, thousands of dollars flowed from Felix-Bayardo’s accounts into the bank account of his wife, Nunez, who then paid for the couple’s lifestyle expenses, including a $1,260 monthly lease payment on a 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 and a $1,002 monthly loan payment on the 2015 Dodge Durango.


This case is the result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle, and prosecute high-level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations and enterprises.


Arraignment on the indictment is scheduled for September 14, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes.


*The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.




Javier Felix-Bayardo Age: 33 Bonita, California

Gabriela Favela Nunez Age: 35 Bonita, California

Rigoberto Munoz-Banuelos Age: 31 West Covina, California

Mario Noriega-Osuna Age: 35 San Diego, California

Margarito Rodriguez-Ochoa Age: 36 National City, California

Manuel Felix-Gutierrez Age: 63 Sinaloa, Mexico

Hector Sandoval-Toloza Age: 42 Sinaloa, Mexico

Camilo Ayon-Mondragon Age: 30 Sinaloa, Mexico




Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, Methamphetamine, and Marijuana – Title 21, U.S.C., Section 846

Maximum penalty: Life in prison and $10,000,000 fine


Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1956(h)

Maximum penalty: 20 years in prison and fine equal to double the value of assets laundered


Engaging in Monetary Transaction in Property Derived From Specified Unlawful Activity – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1957(a)

Maximum penalty: 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine


Bulk Cash Smuggling – Title 31, U.S.C., Section 5332

Maximum penalty: 5 years in prison and $250,000 fine




Drug Enforcement Administration

IRS Criminal Investigation

Homeland Security Investigations

United States Border Patrol

Updated August 30, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: CAS17-0829-Bayardo