Utah Gang Initiative
UTAH GANG INITIATIVE CASE EXAMPLES
U.S. v Jonah Robinson
Robinson is charged with possession of a firearm/ammunition and possession of a stolen firearm in a two-count indictment returned March 1, 2017. Robinson, a self-proclaimed member of the Kearns Town Bloods, came to law enforcement’s attention in February when he posted a video on Snapchat in which he pointed a firearm, from the window of a residence, at a group of Provo City police officers. He stated, in the video, that for “15 snapshots I’ll shoot every last one.” A concerned citizen saw the video, took screen shots, and called it to law enforcement’s attention. Robinson was on state court probation at the time of the offense. With a felony conviction, possession of the firearm used in the video, which the indictment alleges was stolen, is a violation of federal law. The case is being investigated by the Provo City Police Department, the FBI, and the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force.
U.S. v Pedro Valdez-Camacho aka Pedro Chofer; aka Cota Cota; aka Jesus Gonzalez-Valdez; aka Cota Valdez-Camachor; aka Pedro Choffer; aka Jesus Cota Gonzalez-Chofer; aka Jesus Valdez; aka Pedro Valdez-Camachor; aka Jesus Gonzales Valdez-Chofer
A Felony Information filed Wednesday charges Valdez-Camacho with re-entry of a previously removed alien. He is scheduled for an initial appearance Tuesday at 11 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Warner. The defendant is a confirmed member of Los Paisanos. Because he has a previous federal conviction for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, he is subject to a potential 20-year sentence in the Utah case. (He was sentenced to 87 months in 2008 for the conviction in Wyoming.) Valdez-Camacho has five previous deportations/voluntary departures from the country. Law enforcement believed he posed a threat to officer safety before he was taken into custody. The case is being investigated by U.S. Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
U.S. v Joseph Hores Medina
Medina was sentenced to 98 months in federal prison on Feb. 27, 2017, after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm following a felony conviction and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He will be on supervised release for four years when he finishes his federal prison sentence. According to documents filed by prosecutors in federal court, Medina is reputed to be the leader of the Nortenos, a local criminal gang in Ogden. Following a three-month investigation, law enforcement officers obtained a search warrant for his home and person. During the execution of the warrant, they found a pistol directly under the driver’s side seat. The firearm was loaded and had a high capacity magazine. They also found a red bandana, which officers recognized as representing the colors of the Nortenos. They also found several baggies of meth containing around 8.629 grams of meth, around $900 in cash, a police scanner, a stolen police badge, and other firearms, among other things. Medina is a convicted felon and prohibited from possession a firearm under federal law. He admitted that he possessed the methamphetamine with intent to distribute it to others. The case was investigated by member agencies of the Weber/Morgan Strike Force and ATF. It was prosecuted in federal court by Branden B. Miles, Chief Criminal Deputy in the Weber County Attorney’s Office, who is cross designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney.
U.S. v Mahyar Movahhed
Iranian citizenship; Sandy, UT
Movahhed was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison on Feb. 22, 2017, after pleading guilty possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Movahhed was involved in a traffic stop executed by Unified Police Department officers in August 2016. He was found with 27.3 grams of meth. Law enforcement officers say Movahhed is an active member of the Taliban Bloods/Rose Park Taliban. As a part of his supervised release conditions following his prison term, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby ordered that he not get any new tattoos associated with a criminal street or prison gang and not wear clothing or other items that may be identified with a criminal street gang. He will be on supervised release for 36 months. Officers with the UPD/Metro Gang Unit and the FBI investigated the case. The ATF is a member of the Metro Gang Unit.
U.S. v Hector Renteria
Salt Lake City
Renteria was convicted of four counts of distribution of a controlled substance and one count of carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense by a jury in May 2016. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in December 2016. According to a sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors in the case, Renteria is a long-time active member of the Avenues street gang. Renteria negotiated narcotics sales, including one that involved a firearm sale as well, on multiple occasions from November 2013 to June 2014. Investigators recovered about 25 grams of heroin, 595 grams of meth, and a firearm from these sales. When he was arrested, agents seized more than $2,000 cash from his wallet as well as several cell phones. A search of the phones revealed pictures of Renteria, who was not allowed to possess a firearm following a felony conviction, firing assault rifles and pistols with known gang members. Other photos show him posing with large stacks of $100 bills and making gang signs. The case was investigated by the FBI.
U.S. v Colton Paul Poore
Poore, an Ogden Trece affiliate well-known to gang detectives in Salt Lake and Weber counties, was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison Feb. 15, 2017, after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm following a felony conviction. Gang officers were looking for Poore, at the time a parole fugitive, in the area of 2100 South State Street in Salt Lake City in mid-September. When Poore saw the officers, he attempted to flee. Even after he was taken to the ground, Poore continued to resist officers. Once he was taken into custody, he told officers they would find a gun in the bag he was carrying. He admitted he found the handgun and kept it for protection. The semi-automatic handgun was fully loaded with a round in the chamber. As a part of Poore’s sentence, U.S. District Judge Jill N. Parrish imposed several conditions of release he must follow after he is released from prison. The conditions preclude him from having contact of any kind with any member or associate of a criminal street gangs. He also is prohibited from getting new tattoos associated with a criminal street gang and cannot wear clothing or other items that may be associated with a gang. The case was investigated by the UPD/Salt Lake Metro Gang Unit, including the ATF.