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Press Release

Three Men Arrested and Charged with Conspiracy to Possess and Distribute Over 3,300 Pounds of Marijuana

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Federal agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations have arrested MANUEL BARRON-HERNANDEZ, 40, a Mexican national, JUAN CARLOS SALINAS, 19, a U.S. citizen whose address is unknown, and ROBERTO OLIVAS-CHAVEZ, 31, a Mexican national, and charged them with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over 3,300 pounds of marijuana, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. A fourth defendant JESUS ISAAC RODRIGUEZ-CONTRERAS, 40, a Mexican national, was also charged in a separate related criminal complaint with being an illegal alien unlawfully in possession of these firearms and ammunition.

According to court records, on June 25th, 2014, members of the DEA Oklahoma City Task Force conducted an investigation involving surveillance of a storage building located at 4140 SW 149th Street in Oklahoma City and residences located at 1050 Whispering Lane, in Newcastle, and 2648 SW 38th Street, in Oklahoma City. Agents executed a search warrant at the storage unit where the three defendants were detained during the execution of the warrant. According to the complaint affidavit, agents observed 42 large blue garbage dumpsters stacked in the building and, after a drug certified dog was alerted to the odor of illegal drugs, a second search warrant was obtained. Upon execution of the second warrant, the affidavit states that agents located and seized 3,319 packages of marijuana weighing approximately one pound each secreted in the bottom portion (false floor) of the 42 dumpsters.

As part of this investigation, court records indicate that agents also conducted a search of a residence at 3705 S. Villa Avenue, in Oklahoma City, where they located six assault style rifles, a .22 caliber rifle, and over 800 rounds of ammunition. Agents arrested Rodriguez-Contreras for being an illegal alien unlawfully in possession of these firearms. He is charged in a separate criminal complaint.

All four defendants have appeared before a United States Magistrate. Barron-Hernandez, Olivas-Chavez, and Rodriguez-Contreras remain in custody. Salinas was released on bond.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, and was assisted by the District-21 Drug Task Force, McClain County Sheriff’s Office, and the Oklahoma City Fire Department which was instrumental in providing manpower and equipment necessary to the discovery and seizure of the 3319 bundles of marijuana. These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David P. Petermann and Ashley L. Altshuler.

The public is reminded that these charges are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Reference is made to the criminal complaints and other public filings for further information.

Updated February 11, 2015