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Press Release

Six Defendants Indicted in Tunnel and Drug Seizures

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

Assistant U. S. Attorney Sherri Walker Hobson (619) 961-0287    

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – April 7, 2015

SAN DIEGO – Six people – including two new defendants arrested in Arizona and San Bernardino County, California - were indicted today by a federal grand jury in San Diego in connection with the drug tunnel that was seized last month in Calexico, California.

The new defendants are Bertha Lidia Esquivel, aka Bertha Inzunza, of Rialto, California, and Kenneth Wayne Olmos, Jr., of Tucson, Arizona.

Also charged in the indictment with multiple federal offenses were Agustin Enriquez Cruz, aka Tinky, of Tucson, Arizona; Eva Medina De Duarte, aka Eva Duarte-Medina, aka Eva Duarte de Medina, of Tucson, Arizona; Joel Duarte-Medina of Mexico; and Manuel Gallegos-Jimenez, aka Jorge Alberto Torango, of Mexico.  Eva Medina De Duarte is the grandmother of Agustin Cruz and the mother of Joel Duarte-Medina.

The defendants were previously charged via complaint; the grand jury indictment charges them with additional crimes. They are now charged with some or all of the following drug and tunnel related crimes: Conspiracy to distribute marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, conspiracy to import marijuana, importation of marijuana, construction and financing a tunnel that crosses the border, use of a tunnel that crosses the border, conspiracy to use and maintain drug related premises, use and maintaining drug related premises, and criminal forfeiture.

All defendants are in federal custody.

Federal officials seized a cross-border tunnel on March 23, 2016 following a lengthy investigation that resulted in multiple arrests and the confiscation of more than a ton of marijuana. The tunnel, approximately 415 yards  in length, stretches from El Sarape Restaurant in Mexicali, Mexico to a two-bedroom, two-bath house, located at 902 E. Third Street in Calexico, California, about 300 yards north of the international border. In the front room of the residence, agents found a hole in the floor covered with tile leading to a shaft descending underground. 

On the day the tunnel was discovered, defendants Joel Duarte Medina and Manuel Gallegos Jimenez were arrested in Calexico. They were arraigned today on the indictment in El Centro, California, by United States Magistrate Judge Peter Lewis.

Augustin Enrique Cruz, the owner of the house in Calexico where the tunnel exit was discovered, and his grandmother, Eva Medina De Duarte, were arrested in Tucson, Arizona, the day after the tunnel discovery. They will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Crawford, in San Diego, California, tomorrow at 2 p.m. for arraignment on the indictment. 

Defendant Bertha Lidia Esquivel, who was arrested in Rialto, on March 24, appeared today in San Diego for a detention hearing; her matter was continued to Tuesday, April 12, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jan Adler.  Defendant Kenneth Wayne Olmos, Jr., was arrested in Arizona on March 25 and is pending removal and transfer to San Diego, California, for arraignment.                       

DEFENDANTS

Agustin Cruz, age 23, of  Tucson, Arizona

Eva Medina De Duarte, age 74, of Tucson, Arizona

Joel Duarte-Medina, age 43, of Mexico

Manuel Gallegos-Jimenez, age 49, of Mexico

Bertha Lidia Esquivel, age 52, of Rialto, California

Kenneth Wayne Olmos Jr., age 33, of Tucson, Arizona

CHARGES

Count 1

Conspiracy To Distribute over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana 21 U.S.C 841 and 846

Maximum penalties:

10 year MM/life; 5 years of SR; $1,000,000 fine, $100 SA

 

Agustin Cruz

Eva Medina De Duarte

Joel Duarte-Medina

Manuel Gallegos-Jimenez

Bertha Lidia Esquivel

Kenneth Wayne Olmos Jr.

Count 2

Possession With Intent To Distribute 100 kilograms of marijuana 21 U.S.C. 841 and 18 U.S.C. 2

Maximum penalties: 5 year MM/40; 5 years of SR; $500,000 fine, $100 SA

MARCH 7, 2016 SEIZURE OF 1,389 POUNDS OF MARIJUANA

 

Agustin Cruz

Eva Medina De Duarte

Joel Duarte-Medina

Manuel Gallegos-Jimenez

Bertha Lidia Esquivel

Kenneth Wayne Olmos Jr.

Count 3

Possession With Intent To Distribute 100 kilograms of marijuana  21 U.S.C. 841 and 18 U.S.C. 2

Maximum penalties 5 year MM/40; 5 years of SR; $500,000 fine, $100 SA

MARCH 23, 2016 SEIZURE OF 1,532 POUNDS OF MARIJUANA

 

Agustin Cruz

Eva Medina De Duarte

Joel Duarte-Medina

Manuel Gallegos-Jimenez

Bertha Lidia Esquivel

Kenneth Wayne Olmos Jr.

Count 4

Conspiracy To Import over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana

21 U.S.C 960, 952, 963

Maximum Penalties: 10 year MM/life; 5 years of SR; $1,000,000 fine, $100 SA

 

Agustin Cruz

Eva Medina De Duarte

Joel Duarte-Medina

Manuel Gallegos-Jimenez

Bertha Lidia Esquivel

Kenneth Wayne Olmos Jr.

Count 5

Importation of 100 kilograms of marijuana

21 U.S.C. 952, 960 and 18 U.S.C. 2

Maximum Penalties: 5 year MM/40; 5 years of SR; $500,000 fine, $100 SA

MARCH 7, 2016 SEIZURE OF 1,389 POUNDS OF MARIJUANA

Agustin Cruz

Eva Medina De Duarte

Joel Duarte-Medina

Manuel Gallegos-Jimenez

Bertha Lidia Esquivel

Kenneth Wayne Olmos Jr.

Count 6

Importation of 100 kilograms of marijuana

Aiding  & Abetting/Pinkerton Liability

21 U.S.C. 952, 960  and 18 U.S.C. 2

Maximum Penalties:  year MM/40; 5 years of SR; $500,000 fine, $100 SA

MARCH 23, 2016 SEIZURE OF 1,532 POUNDS OF MARIJUANA

 

Agustin Cruz

Eva Medina De Duarte

Joel Duarte-Medina

Manuel Gallegos-Jimenez

Bertha Lidia Esquivel

 

Count 7

Conspiracy to Construct and Finance of Tunnel  

18 U.S.C. 555(a) and (d)

Maximum Penalties: 20 years; 3 years of SR; $250,000 fine, $100 SA

 

Agustin Cruz

Count 8

Using Narcotics Tunnel 18 U.S.C. 555(c)

Maximum Penalties: 20 years; 3 years of SR; $250,000 fine, $100 SA

Agustin Cruz

Eva Medina De Duarte

Joel Duarte-Medina

Manuel Gallegos-Jimenez

Bertha Lidia Esquivel

 

Count  9

Conspiracy to Maintain/Use Drug-Related Premises

21 U.S.C. 856(a)(1) and 846

Maximum Penalties: 20 years; 3 years of SR; $250,000 fine, $100 SA

 

Agustin Cruz

Eva Medina De Duarte

Joel Duarte-Medina

Manuel Gallegos-Jimenez

Bertha Lidia Esquivel

Kenneth Wayne Olmos Jr.

Count 10

Maintain/Use Drug-Related Premises

21 U.S.C. 856 and 18 U.S.C. 2

Maximum Penalties: 20 years; 3 years of SR; $250,000 fine, $100 SA

Third Street Residence in Calexico

 

Agustin Cruz

Eva Medina De Duarte

Joel Duarte-Medina

Manuel Gallegos-Jimenez

Bertha Lidia Esquivel

 

Count 11

Maintain /Use Drug Related Premises

21 U.S.C. 856 and 18 U.S.C. 2

Maximum Penalties: 20 years; 3 years of SR; $250,000 fine, $100 SA

Horizon Residence in Calexico

 

Agustin Cruz

Eva Medina De Duarte

Joel Duarte-Medina

Manuel Gallegos-Jimenez

Bertha Lidia Esquivel

Kenneth Wayne Olmos Jr.

 

Count 12

Maintain/Use Drug Related Premises

21 U.S.C. 856 and 18 U.S.C. 2

Maximum Penalties: 20 years; 3 years of SR; $250,000 fine, $100 SA

Avenida Warehouse in Calexico

 

Agustin Cruz

Eva Medina De Duarte

Joel Duarte-Medina

Manuel Gallegos-Jimenez

Bertha Lidia Esquivel

Kenneth Wayne Olmos Jr.

AGENCIES

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations

Homeland Security Investigations, Calexico

U.S. Border Patrol, El Centro Sector

*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 April 7, 2016

Topic
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: CAS16-0407-Cruz