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Press Release

San Diego-based Drug Trafficking Cell Dismantled

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

Assistant U. S. Attorneys Joshua Mellor (619) 546-9733 and Francis A. DiGiacco (619) 546-6771


NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – September 14, 2017


SAN DIEGO – Five alleged members of a San Diego-based drug trafficking cell, including alleged leader Jaime Ivan Mendez-Maciel, were arrested yesterday and made their first appearances in federal court yesterday and today.


According to the indictment and search warrants, Mendez-Maciel operated a series of drug stash houses in San Diego and coordinated the importation and distribution of hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine and cocaine through the Southwest Border destined for various cities throughout the United States.


Drug Enforcement Administration agents began investigating the drug trafficking organization cell in October of 2016. Throughout the investigation, DEA agents seized over a hundred pounds of methamphetamine, fifty pounds of cocaine, and several assault rifles and pistols.


Mendez-Maciel, Juan Garcia and Nallely Tanairi Garcia were arraigned on Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge William Gallo. Armando Martin Lopez-Estrada and Daniel Bravo were arraigned today. The defendants are scheduled to appear for a detention hearing on Friday, September 15 at 10 a.m. before Judge Gallo.


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.


DEFENDANTS                                         Case Numbers: 17CR2726-LAB and 17CR2727-LAB

Jamie Ivan Mendez-Maciel                       Age: 41                            San Diego

Jesse Cortes – fugitive                               Age: 20                            San Diego

Juan Garcia                                                Age: 19                            San Diego

Nallely Tanairi Garcia                               Age: 25                            San Diego

Armando Martin Lopez-Estrada                Age: 31                            San Diego

Daniel Bravo Age: 36 San Diego





Title 21, U.S.C., Secs. 841(a)(1) and 846 - Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Cocaine;

Title 21, U.S.C., Secs. 952, 960, and 963 - Conspiracy to Import Methamphetamine and Cocaine;

Title 21, U.S.C., Sec. 841(a)(1) - Distribution of Methamphetamine;

Title 21, U.S.C., Sec. 952 and 960 - Importation of Methamphetamine and Cocaine;

Title 21, U.S.C., Sec. 841(a)(1) - Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Cocaine




Federal Bureau of Investigation

Homeland Security Investigations

Customs and Border Protection

Internal Revenue Service

San Diego Police Department

California Highway Patrol

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms

United States Marshals Service


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

Updated September 14, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: CAS17-0914-Mendez