FBI: “Twenty-Six People Indicted in Drug Trafficking Conspiracy in Toledo”

August 25, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 21, 2014 released the following:

“Twenty-six people were indicted for their roles in a conspiracy to bring large amounts of heroin, cocaine and marijuana to Toledo from Arizona, California, Illinois and Mexico, law enforcement officials said.

The 55-count federal indictment was announced by Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland office, Toledo Police Chief William Moton and Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp.

“Heroin abuse is an epidemic in our community that takes lives and destroys families,” Dettelbach said. “We will continue to target drug traffickers while also working to reduce demand and get treatment for those who need it.”

“This is another example of the international drug trafficking connections that are plaguing our communities with danger and heroin,” Anthony said. “The FBI will continue collaborative law enforcement efforts to combat these violent organizations.”

“Through the working relationship that has been developed between the Toledo Police Metro Drug Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation we have become more efficient in targeting the mid- and upper-level heroin dealers in Toledo and surrounding communities,” said Toledo Police Chief William Moton. “These arrests are a byproduct of this successful collaboration. The City of Toledo and surrounding areas are the benefactors of these efforts as the spread of heroin has the potential to deteriorate the standard of living in our community.”

Those indicted are from Toledo unless otherwise noted. They are:

Alejandro Garcia, 44; Regina Navarro, 36; Osvaldo Perez, 60; Sean Machaterre, 31; Dicki Isom, 33; Federico Perez, 25; Daryl Mickles, Jr., 31; Keith Hubbell, 30; David Berrera, Jr., 40; Santos Flores, 34, of Oregon, Ohio; Juan Montano, 35; Daniel Montano, 26; Yousvani Gacita, 34; Davi Mata, 32; Willie Edward Smith, 38; Juan Rivera, 34; Paulo Gonzalez, 27; Abdul Shabazz, 39; Davalon Brown, 28; James Munoz, 37; Victoria Santellana, 31; Daniel Barboza, 38; Anthony Rudess, 42, of Curtice, Ohio; Eric Mays-Clausen, 41; Randolph Kemp, 53, and Jacqueline Jaquez, 40.

The defendants conspired between 2010 and this month to bring large shipments of heroin, cocaine and marijuana to Toledo for distribution. Garcia obtained the drugs from suppliers in Arizona, California, Illinois and Mexico and then distributed the drugs to mid-level dealers in the Toledo area. Those dealers, in turn, distributed the drugs to other dealers, according to the indictment.

The indictment details scores of transactions and drug sales that took place in Toledo, including locations at Ravine Park Village, Graham Street, Berry Street, North Ontario Street, Bronson Street, Sylvania Avenue, Westfield Park Mall, Main Street, Starr Avenue, Heatherdowns Road and other locations.

Three people—Garcia, Kemp and Isom—face additional charges of being felons in possession of firearms.

Prosecutors are also seeking to forfeit more than $6,800 in cash, six firearms, nine automobiles and homes at 1509 Navarre Avenue and 625 Parker Avenue in Toledo.

This indictment is the result of an investigation by the FBI and the Metro Drug Task Force, made up of members of the Toledo Police Department and the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas P. Weldon and Michael Freeman.

If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court after a review of the federal sentencing guidelines and factors unique to the case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any), the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


George L. Beck, Jr. Sworn in as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama

July 6, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Middle District of Alabama on July 6, 2011 released the following:

“Montgomery, Alabama – George L. Beck, Jr., was sworn in today and immediately took over his duties as the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama. Mr. Beck was nominated by President Obama on March 31, 2011, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 30, 2011.

George Beck, a resident of Santuck, Alabama, was sworn in this morning as United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama by United States District Judge W. Keith Watkins. Mr. Beck was born in Geneva, Alabama. He served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of Alabama for eight years and Judge Advocate General for the Corps of Alabama Army National Guard for over thirty years, retiring at the rank of Colonel. He joined the private law firm of Capell & Howard in January 2004 where he remained until he was confirmed as U.S. Attorney. Mr. Beck has successfully handled numerous class actions and participated in at least two landmark Alabama Supreme Court class action decisions.

Mr. [Beck] received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University and his law degree from the University of Alabama. He is married to Carlotta and has 3 children and 8 grandchildren.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Eighteen Members of Nationwide Marijuana Trafficking Organization Charged

June 20, 2011

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on June 17, 2011 released the following press release:

FBI and IRS Agents Arrest 12 Who Face Fraud and Money Laundering Charges

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Eighteen individuals have been charged in the Eastern District of Virginia for allegedly participating in a nationwide distribution ring smuggling high-quality marijuana from grows in northern California to mid-level dealers in numerous states throughout the country. After coordinated arrests yesterday, 17 conspirators are in custody and one remains a fugitive: Marvin Powers, Jr., a/k/a “Marv,” 39, of Vallejo, Calif.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Robert B. Wemyss, Acting Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service; Earl Cook, Alexandria Chief of Police; and Colonel David Rohrer, Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after the case was unsealed.

“We have dismantled a significant, national drug ring that allegedly made millions trafficking marijuana and recruited college athletes to target fellow students for drug sales,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Marijuana is an addictive, dangerous gateway drug that often leads users to graduate to other deadly narcotics. Distributors often rely on guns and physical violence to enforce debts and ensure the success of their business, allured by the potential for significant profit peddling contraband. We’re grateful to the tight partnership of the agencies who worked together to bring charges against those in every level of this organization.”

According to court documents, the ring is led by Anthony Guidry, Sr., a/k/a “Ant,” 46, of Vallejo, Calif., who allegedly trained and now works with three other men as interconnected wholesale dealers of marijuana they either grow or purchase from growers in northern California. From 2005 through the present, the conspirators are accused of taking orders for various marijuana strains and shipping multi-pound quantities to suppliers in more than a dozen states. The complaint affidavit states that many conspirators carry firearms while conducting drug sales and use weapons and assault to intimidate those who have not paid, including targeting the young children of those in debt to conspirators.

Guidry is allegedly focused on extending his enterprise to as many states as possible, recruiting distributors from all walks of life, including college athletes, to help open distribution centers in cities and college campuses in Virginia, Georgia, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Court records indicate that he controls more than 20 bank accounts that conspirators use to deposit proceeds from marijuana sales in whatever state sales are made. To avoid law enforcement detection, Guidry allegedly also hires individuals to fly around the country to pick up bulk cash payments and return to California. Court documents state that Guidry is the owner of a company named “Daddy’s Girl Handyman,” which is based out of his residence and is allegedly a front for him to launder illicit drug proceeds and appear to have legitimate income. He is accused of using drug proceeds to purchase multiple homes, vehicles, and a boat. In a two year period, investigators allege he received deposits of nearly $1 million into his various accounts.

According to the affidavit, Guidry would obtain wholesale marijuana for as little as $1,200 a pound, which he would sell for as much as $5,000 per pound at the retail level. Investigators conservatively estimate that the conspiracy has generated at least $2 million in profit during the course of the conspiracy. Prior to arrest, law enforcement had seized 71 pounds of marijuana and $161,980 in money orders from the conspirators.

Court records indicate that the ring was uncovered through the arrest of Moataz Mohammad Masoud, a/k/a “Mo,” “Fat Mo,” or “Gyp,” 26, of Alexandria, Va., in Alexandria on Jan. 12, 2010. While detained on marijuana distribution charges, court documents state that Masoud telephoned other conspirators to ensure that they continued his marijuana dealing operation. This arrest and ensuing investigation contributed to the initiation of the overall investigation that resulted in today’s charges.

All 15 individuals were charged with conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, which carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison if convicted. Court documents indicate that additional charges carrying a maximum penalty of life imprisonment may also be filed against certain co-conspirators. In addition to Guidry, those charged include:

  • James Cody Cutri, 22, of Springfield, Va., is alleged to be the leader of a marijuana and oxycontin distribution network based in the Eastern District of Virginia and extending into West Virginia. Court records indicate that he has received marijuana from Johnson for at least five years and is the largest and most lucrative of Johnson’s distribution outlets. Cutri works with Masoud; Nahom Hagos, a/k/a “Fat Boy,” 23, of Alexandria, Va.; and Yonata Noah Hagos, a/k/a “Yoni,” “Yone,” or “Little Black Boy,” 24, of Alexandria, Va., on retail sales of marijuana.
  • Justin Dacory Johnson, a/k/a “Jay,” 23, of Pittsburg, Calif., is alleged to be a wholesale dealer with a distribution network in several states and is the primary supplier to Cutri and his network operating in the Eastern District of Virginia. Cristina Delores Patino, 28 of Pittsburg, Calif., is alleged to be the live-in girlfriend of Johnson who assists him in packaging and shipping marijuana to others in his network.
  • Munir Abdalla Saad, a/k/a “Saad Munir Abdalla,” 36, of Benicia, Calif., and Powers are alleged to be wholesale dealers who work closely with Guidry in operating the marijuana ring, along with operating their own distribution networks. Saad is allegedly working with Guidry on renting property in California to grow marijuana.
  • Noe Briones, 26, of Rodeo, Calif., is alleged to be a marijuana grower and one of Johnson’s regular marijuana suppliers. Court documents state that he rents a home in Sacramento, Calif., that he refers to as “the ranch” where he is running one of his marijuana grow operations.
  • Nathaniel Scott Wilson, a/k/a “Nate,” and Jeremiah Adam Wilson, a/k/a “Jay,”—twin brothers, 26, of Atlanta, Ga.—are alleged to operate a distribution outlet from Atlanta, Ga., for Guidry.
  • Julius Jamar Watson III, a/k/a “Ju Ju,” 23, of Sacramento, Calif., is alleged to be a distributor for Guidry and, according to court documents, is helping to establish distribution outlets in Pennsylvania and New York.
  • Tracy Christopher King, a/k/a “T.C.,” 44, of Norfolk, Va., is alleged to have established a distribution network for Guidry in the Tidewater area of Virginia, particularly at local colleges and the beaches on the Eastern Shore.
  • Tiffany Nicole Solorio, a/k/a “Tiff,” 22, of Rio Linda, Calif., is believed to be Guidry’s daughter or stepdaughter. She is alleged to receive between work for Guidry and Johnson transporting tens of thousands of dollars in proceeds via commercial airline from members of the distribution ring and returning them to Guidry and Johnson in California.
  • Anthony Scott Giuliani, a/ka/ “Ant,” 44, and Annette Marie Ross, 51, of Covelo, Calif., are alleged to be growers who supply Guidry with high-grade marijuana.
  • Robert Williams, 22, of Springfield, Va., was discovered by law enforcement at Cutri’s residence at the time of Cutri’s arrest on June 16, 2011, and was found to have allegedly possessed a .40-caliber pistol, $11,000 in cash, and bundles of marijuana.

Today’s charges are a result of an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation being conducted by the FBI Washington Field Office, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Alexandria and Fairfax County police departments. Assistant United States Attorneys Sean P. Tonolli and Lisa Owings are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

Criminal complaints are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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32 South Texas Residents Charged With Fraud as a Result of “Operation Sitting Duck” More Than 20,000 Allegedly False Insurance Claims Submitted to AFLAC

June 19, 2011

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on June 17, 2011 released the following press release:

“McALLEN, TX – “Operation Sitting Duck,” an ongoing investigation into fraudulent insurance claims filed with the American Family Life Assurance Company (AFLAC), has resulted in the return of eight separate but related sealed indictments, charges of conspiracy and wire fraud and the arrest of 32 South Texas residents for their alleged involvement in a scheme to defraud AFLAC of millions of dollars by allegedly filing false injury claims, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today along with Special Agent-in-Charge Cory B. Nelson of the FBI San Antonio field office.

“Simply put, this fraud scheme is a robbery without a gun of the self-insured American taxpayer,” said Nelson, “and as such, the FBI considers it to be a direct threat to the critical U.S. health care infrastructure designed to be available for Americans in their time of medical need.”

According to the indictments, which were returned under seal on Tuesday, June 14, 2011, the defendants-who include a local police officer, county employees and school teachers-purchased policies under the AFLAC Accident-Only Insurance Plan from several area insurance agents at various times beginning in July 2001. Under the plan, a policyholder could file a claim with AFLAC and obtain a cash benefit if he or she received treatment from a physician for a legitimate, accident-caused injury including lacerations, bruises, burns, fractures or dismemberment.

“Greed, simple and pure, has allegedly driven a police officer, teachers, county government employees and others to participate in a multi-million dollar insurance fraud,” said Moreno.

That same greed now makes them participants in our criminal justice system and subject to participation in our prison rehabilitation system. Insurance fraud affects every legitimate provider and beneficiary of our healthcare system, and we will vigorously pursue those who seek to profit illegally from it.”

The indictments allege that, from July 2001 through April 2010, the defendant policyholders routinely delivered lists of fake accidents and injuries to two physicians who worked together at a clinic in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico. The physicians allegedly prepared an “accident report” for each fake injury in exchange for a cash kickback of approximately $15 per accident report. In each report, the indictment alleges the physicians falsely claimed they had provided treatment and prescribed medication for the purported injury. In addition, the physicians and defendants allegedly attempted to conceal their scheme in numerous ways including agreeing to use injuries such as lacerations and minor burns as opposed to more serious injuries that paid higher cash benefits and could potentially attract a greater level of scrutiny by AFLAC’s claims department.

Over time, the defendants-many of whom allegedly recruited one another to purchase policies and join the alleged scheme-submitted approximately 21,600 allegedly false and fraudulent insurance claims, each accompanied by the physicians’ accident reports, to AFLAC’s claims department in Columbus, Ga. Based on the claims, AFLAC disbursed a total of approximately $3 million in insurance proceeds to the defendants.

Each count of conspiracy and wire fraud carries a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, a $250,000 fine and mandatory restitution.

The indictments listed below have been unsealed as to each of the following defendants who were arrested by FBI agents yesterday and today:

Indictment #1

Name Age City of Residence
Lucila Alcala

40

Edinburg, Texas

Lilly Perez

32

La Villa, Texas

Desiree Rodriguez

34

Edinburg, Texas

Jose D. Rodriguez

27

Edinburg, Texas

Steven Betancourt

39

Edinburg, Texas

Maria C. Alaniz

39

Elsa, Texas

Patricia Cerda-Flores

44

Palmview, Texas

Dalia Cerda-Delgado

39

Palmview, Texas

Leonor B. Salinas

46

Elsa, Texas

Maria Guzman

40

Edinburg, Texas

Rebecca Castillo

41

Edinburg, Texas

Ninfa Reyes

38

Edcouch, Texas

Noemi Villareal

60

Edinburg, Texas

Indictment #2

Idaleen Sanchez

34

Edinburg, Texas

Norma Sanchez

41

Edinburg, Texas

Valerio Ramos

55

Edinburg, Texas

Jose Guerra, Jr.

37

La Joya, Texas

Eddie Guerra

34

Alamo, Texas

Indictment #3

Mary Cedillo

65

Edinburg, Texas

Martha Ortega

57

McAllen, Texas

Yolanda Segovia

55

McAllen, Texas

Candida Chavez

34

McAllen, Texas

Lori Chavez

30

McAllen, Texas

Anissa Chavez

31

McAllen, Texas

Homer Cedillo, Jr.

41

Edinburg, Texas

Indictment #4

Norma Flores

54

Palmview, Texas

Nora Palacios

53

La Joya, Texas

Georgina Flores

33

Mission, Texas

Indictment #5

Nancy Rodriguez

31

Pharr, Texas

Maria Cantu

56

McAllen, Texas

Indictment #6

Beatriz Carreon

42

Edinburg, Texas

Indictment #7

Minerva Murguia

43

Sullivan City, Texas

The defendants have either made or are awaiting an initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in McAllen federal court and either have or are expected to be ordered released on bond pending trial. Four indictments remain partially sealed and warrants remain outstanding for others charged but as yet not in federal custody.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the McAllen office of the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Greg Saikin is prosecuting the cases.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.

A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red

Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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43 Defendants Charged in Alleged RICO Conspiracy

July 26, 2010

A criminal complaint was unsealed on Friday charging 43 defendants with participating in a federal racketeering (RICO) conspiracy. The RICO conspiracy alleged in the complaint involves the commission of both state and federal crimes, including murder, conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, drug trafficking and money laundering offenses. The complaint alleges that the defendants are members and associates of the Fernando Sanchez Organization (FSO), an offshoot of the Arellano-Felix drug-trafficking cartel.

The complaint also alleges that Jesus Quiñones Marques, the Director of International Liaison for the Baja California Attorney General’s Office, was aware of the FSO’s illegal activities and used his position to obtain confidential law enforcement information for the use of the FSO. The complaint further alleges that he was involved in making arrangements to have various rivals of the FSO arrested and detained by Mexican law enforcement officials.

The charges stem from a long-term investigation, entitled “Operation Luz Verde” (green light), conducted by the multi-agency San Diego Cross Border Violence Task Force (CBVTF), which was formulated to target those individuals involved in organized crime-related violent activities affecting both the United States and Mexico. Law enforcement personnel assigned to the CBVTF used court-authorized wiretaps and other investigative measures that led to the charges in this case.

Those charged under 18 U.S.C. 1962(d) include: Armando Villareal Heredia, age 32; Ruben Dario Castro Perez, age 35; Ivan Candelario Magana Heredia, age 33; Jose Alfredo Najera Gil, age 33; Carlos Cosme, age 34; Mario Escamilla, age 29; Ignacio Escamilla Estrada, age 49; Fausto Escamilla, age 25; Edgar Gustavo Escamilla, age 28; Jesus Quinones Marquez, age 49; Jose Antonio Ortega Nuno, age 44; Edgar Lopez De-Anda Daher, age 28; Jose Alejandro Florez Meza; Alicia Martinez, age 33; Juan Carlos Magana Heredia, age 29; Oscar Daniel Montoya Mora, age 28; Jorge Alberto Ponce; Mikael Daniel Blaser, age 20; Jonathan Valle, age 25; Armando Castillo, age 20; Omar Martinez, age 19; Enrique Salinas, Jr., age 26; Raul Moreno, age 23; Miguel Soria, age 19; Perla Carolina Jimenez, age 28; Luz Maria Benavidez Martinez, age 31; Bridgette Reynoso, age 23; Jorge Humberto Lora, age 31; Christopher Adrian Ruiz, age 36; Richard Gilbert Favela, age 26; Humberto Torres Mendoza, age 25; Juan Carlos Rique Aguirre, age 26; Telle Kreschmer, age 21; Hector Montes, age 23; Jose Contreras, age 28; Hassain Alzubaidy, age 25; Ivan Mora, age 21; Ulises Valenzuela, age 31; Benjamin Avendano, age 19; Jennifer Escamilla, age 26; Araceli Varela, age 33; Rocio Lopez, age 37; Kevin Luis, age 28.

A complaint is not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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