Kelly Thornton (619) 546-9726
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – January 29, 2020
SAN DIEGO – Several federal prosecutors have received awards from the San Diego Drug Enforcement Administration for exemplary service and dedication to the mission of the DEA in San Diego and Imperial counties.
The recipients – Brandon Kimura, Larry Casper, Kyle Martin, Victor White and Dylan Aste – were honored for working tirelessly, hand-in-hand with DEA agents, to disrupt the movement of large quantities of narcotics; to dismantle transnational drug trafficking organizations around the world; to target maritime-based narcotics trafficking operations; and to hold dealers responsible for overdose deaths and doctors and pharmacies accountable for overprescribing opioids.
Collectively their efforts resulted in numerous maritime seizures of huge shipments of illicit drugs; seizures of bulk currency shipments totaling millions of dollars; the arrests and indictments of members of the command and control structures of drug trafficking organizations; and the collection of significant civil settlement payments.
“It was an honor and a privilege to recognize these Assistant U.S. Attorneys along with U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer on behalf of the DEA San Diego Field Division for their hard work and dedication to the mission of the DEA,” said Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery. “Their relationships directly with the DEA have led to proven results through countless successful prosecutions and the dismantlement of drug trafficking organizations operating in Imperial and San Diego counties and beyond. These AUSAs’ steadfast and unwavering partnership directly with DEA agents and task force officers of the SDFD is to be commended and admired.”
“During a time when drug overdoses have spiked to unprecedented levels during the pandemic, the accomplishments of these outstanding prosecutors and their DEA partners are even more crucial and impressive,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “I am so proud of their dedication and hard work protecting the people of San Diego and Imperial counties from the violence and destruction associated with illegal drugs. And I am so grateful to John Callery and the DEA for this great honor, and for our strong and successful relationship.”
From the DEA’s commendations:
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Kimura has demonstrated his commitment to the DEA Imperial County District Office through his time, his service, and his mentorship. Throughout 2020, AUSA Kimura assisted the DEA and U.S. Postal Inspectors in the prosecution of multiple investigations targeting a network of couriers, shippers, and receivers of drug laden packages originating in Imperial County and destined for cities across the United States; resulting in multiple arrests and enforcement actions throughout the country. AUSA Kimura is a reliable and valuable resource for the DEA in Imperial County and provides effective guidance and constructive feedback for prosecutorial avenues which investigators can build upon. His close partnership with his case agents results in the development of overwhelming evidence to ensure swift and meaningful prosecutions.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor White has demonstrated his commitment to the DEA Imperial County District Office through his dedication, determination and his mentorship. White assisted with numerous DEA investigations in Imperial County involving the prosecution of domestic and foreign targets, including Mexico-based drug trafficking organization leaders who used international drug laden vessels and aircrafts, and United States-based couriers, distributors, transporters, and receivers of narcotic shipments travelling through Imperial County and destined for cities across the United States. His efforts resulted in multiple arrests and enforcement actions throughout the country.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Martin has demonstrated his commitment to the DEA Imperial County District Office through his consistent and direct communication with DEA special agents and task force officers in pursuing transnational drug trafficking organizations. Of note, AUSA Martin took part in cases targeting organizations operating in Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico City, the United States, and Europe. These organizations were responsible for the shipment of large quantities of narcotics on land and in boats and shipping containers. AUSA Martin’s efforts resulted in numerous maritime seizures of multi-hundred kilogram shipments of cocaine, seizures of bulk currency shipments totaling over $2.8 million, and the arrest and indictment of members of the command and control structures of the drug trafficking organizations. AUSA Martin’s commitment and steadfast dedication to the DEA in developing comprehensive investigations targeting the highest echelons of transnational drug trafficking networks has led to proven results in continuing DEA’s mission and is to be admired and commended.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Casper exemplifies dedication, determination, and commitment to the mission of the DEA Imperial County District Office. AUSA Casper routinely integrates himself with the DEA, providing outstanding on the spot legal and prosecutorial guidance and insight to special agents and task force officers resulting in the progression of their investigations and the disruption and dismantlement of drug trafficking organizations. AUSA Casper’s unparalleled commitment as the U.S. Attorney’s Office Opioid Coordinator directly corresponded to the charging of the DEA’s first fentanyl overdose case in Imperial County, in which the Government alleges that the distributed fentanyl resulted in the death of a local high school student in March of 2019. Furthermore, AUSA Casper is the lead prosecutor on an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation that has disrupted a Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico drug trafficking organization that allegedly exploits juveniles as body couriers and has already resulted in more than twenty successful prosecutions. Casper’s dedication is expected to further dismantlement of the drug trafficking organization and prosecution of its leadership.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Dylan M. Aste has demonstrated his dedication and commitment to the mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration by always being available and responsive and by working hard to hold doctors and pharmacies accountable for their roles in the opioid crisis. AUSA Aste has a demanding position prosecuting civil diversion investigations and responds without complaint and provides whatever assistance or guidance necessary for the investigators and agents to ensure a successful prosecution. His most recent cases have resulted in large civil settlements with doctors and a pharmacy. His deliberate and thorough approach was the driving force in the success of these investigations.