“Eight Alleged Members and Associates of the Two Six Nation Street Gang Indicted in Racketeering Conspiracy”

August 25, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 22, 2014 released the following:

“WASHINGTON—Four members of the Two Six Nation street gang and four of their associates have been indicted for their roles in a racketeering conspiracy spanning more than 20 years, as well as murder and drug trafficking charges.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney David A. Capp of the Northern District of Indiana, Special Agent in Charge Carl Vasilko of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Chicago Field Division, Special Agent in Charge Jack Riley of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Chicago Field Division and Special Agent in Charge W. Jay Abott of the FBI’s Indianapolis Division made the announcement.

“Today’s action reflects the most recent in the department’s continuing efforts to free communities within East Chicago, Gary and Chicago from the scourge of gang violence and drug dealing,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. “Over the years, the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division have partnered to use RICO and other federal charges to disrupt and dismantle violent gangs like the Imperial Gangsters, the Latin Kings and now the Two Six Nation. These rolling prosecutions of violent gangs in this region demonstrate the department’s commitment to ensure that no gang is able to maintain a foothold in these communities.”

“This is our third use of the federal RICO statute against violent street gangs operating in northwest Indiana,” said U.S. Attorney Capp. “This indictment was the result of extensive federal-local law enforcement work on both sides of the state border. Our investigations continue and we will not hesitate to utilize the power of the RICO statute to remove these individuals from the streets.”

The second superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Aug. 21, 2014, and unsealed today, charges Adron Herschel Tancil, aka “Awol,” 36, of East Chicago, Indiana; Jesus Valentin Fuentes, aka “Chu Chu,” 39, of Gary, Indiana; Frank Perez Jr., aka “Pumpkin,” 33, of Verona, Pennsylvania; and Anthony Cresencio Aguilera, aka “P-nut,” 35, of Portage, Indiana with RICO conspiracy and conspiracy to engage in drug trafficking, including marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin and ecstasy. Also charged in the narcotics conspiracy are Oscar Cosme, aka “Cos,” 41, of East Chicago; Ester Carrera, aka “Mama D,” 61, of Gary; Paul Brock, aka “Big Brock,” 27, of Gary; and Alma Delia Carrera, 28, of Gary. Both the RICO and narcotics conspiracies allege criminal conduct spanning more than 20 years, from January 1992 to the present.

The indictment further charges defendants Tancil, Fuentes and Cosme with the May 16, 2003, homicide of Julio Cartagena in East Chicago. Kiontay Kyare Pennington has already pleaded guilty to murder in aid of racketeering for his role in this homicide.

In addition, the indictment charges Frank Perez with the July 13, 1999, murder of Jose Pena Jr. in Whiting, Indiana.

The charges contained in an indictment are merely accusations and all persons charged are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

This case is being investigated by the ATF, DEA, FBI, East Chicago Police Department and Whiting Police Department, with assistance from the Chicago Police Department, Gary Police Department, Hammond Police Department, Highland Police Department and the Lake County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force. Assistance was also provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Nozick for the Northern District of Indiana and Trial Attorney Andrew L. Creighton of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.”

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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

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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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.


Members of Alleged Sports Betting Ring Charged with Racketeering

August 8, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 8, 2012 released the following:

“PHILADELPHIA—A 23-count indictment was unsealed today charging 16 defendants in a conspiracy case involving the Mastronardo Bookmaking Organization, a multi-million-dollar sports betting operation with bettors throughout the U.S. At its peak, the alleged organization had more than 1,000 bettors and was generating millions of dollars a year. All but one defendant (Joanna Mastronardo) are charged with conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise (RICO) and conducting an illegal gambling business. The indictment alleges that between January 1, 2005 and January 1, 2011, the organization utilized Internet websites and telephone numbers that allowed bettors to place sports bets on football, baseball, basketball, golf, horse racing, and other sporting events. Residents of Costa Rica staffed the Internet and telephone sites. The defendants allegedly hid more than $1 million in and around their homes, including in specially-built compartments and in PVC pipes that were buried in a yard.

Charged are Joseph Vito Mastronardo, Jr. and John Mastronardo, the two alleged leaders; Joseph F. Mastronardo, Eric Woehlcke, Harry Murray, Joseph Vitelli, Anna Rose Vitelli, Patrick Tronoski, Edward Feighan, Kenneth Cohen, Schuyler Twaddle, Michael Loftus, Michael Squillante, David Rounick, Ronald Gendrachi; and Joanna Mastronardo, the wife of Joseph Mastronardo, Jr. All, with the exception of Twaddle, were arrested this morning.

The indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger, FBI Special Agent in Charge George C. Venizelos of the Philadelphia Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Eric Hylton of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman.

The indictment alleges that the defendants ran the organization using telephone, Skype, e-mail, text messaging, and in-person communication. They allegedly met bettors in-person, often in public buildings and parking lots, to collect or deliver payments that ranged from $1,000 to more than $100,000. The organization also allegedly used a gas station on Norristown Road in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, as a mailing address and drop-off site to collect gambling payments.

According to the indictment, members of the Mastronardo Bookmaking Organization laundered the gambling proceeds using check cashing agencies, private bank accounts, and international bank accounts and provided instructions so that a losing bettor could pay a gambling debt through a charitable donation.

According to the indictment, leader Joseph V. Mastronardo, Jr. supervised the agents, sub-agents, websites (www.betroma.com and http://www.betrose.com), office employees; laundered some of the betting proceeds; collected debts; and instructed others to collect debts. Mastronardo’s brother, John, also a leader in the organization, supervised agents and sub-agents, laundered proceeds, and collected debts. John’s son, Joseph F. Mastronardo, worked as an office employee, collected debts, and performed other financial duties. Eric Woehlcke was initially a bookmaker and office employee, then worked as an office manager, and eventually became a leader supervising agents and sub-agents and laundering proceeds. Harry Murray was a bookmaker who resided in Florida and laundered proceeds in and outside the U.S. Joseph and Anna Rose Vitelli owned J&A Check Cashing where, in 2006, they allowed the organization to occupy an office for the illegal gambling business and which was also used to aid in the laundering of proceeds. Tronoski, Feighan, Cohen, Twaddle, Loftus, Squillante, Rounick, and Gendrachi were all bookmakers.

The indictment alleges that in March 2010, Joseph V. Mastronardo, Jr., in a conversation with bookmaker Harry Murray, commented, “Well, times like this I’m happy I’m a bookmaker,” to which Murray responded, “Me too.”

“Technology allowed the defendants to allegedly expand their gambling and money laundering operation far beyond the borders of Pennsylvania,” said Memeger. “Unfortunately for the defendants, however, we have the necessary statutory tools to investigate and prosecute those who openly flout our illegal gambling and financial reporting laws.”

“Illegal gambling and money laundering are the financial engines that help drive criminal enterprises like the one alleged today,” said Special Agent in Charge Venizelos. “The type of gambling activity charged here is illegal. These types of extensive and long-term joint investigative efforts, worked with our partners like the IRS and Montgomery County Detectives, are intended to dismantle criminal organizations that profit from illegal activities.”

“This alleged racketeering operation was anchored in Montgomery County but had tentacles spreading across the U.S. and beyond,” said D.A. Ferman. “Despite our attempt to shut it down in 2006-2007 with a Montgomery County prosecution, my office discovered that the defendants, as is alleged in the indictment, were back in business. We partnered with our federal counterparts to examine the full scope of the alleged illegal gambling operation. Today’s indictment reflects the work of many law enforcement agents across multiple agencies. These defendants tried to ‘game’ the system. Today, they crapped out.”

“The indictments announced today are the result of a significant and complex investigation,” said Special Agent in Charge Eric Hylton. “With both law enforcement and financial expertise, our agents are uniquely qualified to assist with these types of cases by following the trail of money. Our office will continue to work aggressively to identify and target illegal financial gains.”

Joanna Mastronardo is charged with one count of structuring in which it is alleged that she participated in making approximately 72 deposits in amounts less than $10,000, totaling more than $500,000 in a 12-month period.

Joseph V. Mastronardo, Jr. is charged in all 23 counts of the indictment. The remaining 14 defendants are each charged with the RICO conspiracy and with prohibition of illegal gambling. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of more than $6.3 million as alleged proceeds of the illegal enterprise.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Montgomery County Detective Bureau, and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jason P. Bologna.

An indictment or information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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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

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

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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.


Federal prosecutors: Alleged mobsters among 14 charged in illegal online gambling ring in NJ

May 23, 2012

The Republic on May 22, 2012 released the following:

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

“NEWARK, N.J. — Federal prosecutors say 14 people have been charged in an illegal online gambling operation run out of northern New Jersey.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman says 13 people, including alleged members of the Genovese organized crime family and its LaScala Crew, face charges of racketeering conspiracy. The other defendant’s charged with transmission of wagering information. []

Fishman says the gambling website was maintained in Costa Rica, but bettors paid or received money in New Jersey.

The Lascala Crew is also accused of cargo theft and receipt and sale of stolen goods. They also allegedly profit from illegal gambling at social clubs it operates in north Jersey and elsewhere.

The defendants were due to make their initial court appearances Tuesday afternoon. Two of them remain at large.”

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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

————————————————————–

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.


22-Count Indictment Returned for Alleged RICO Violations, the Violent Crime in Aid of Racketeering Act, the Federal Gun Control Act, Controlled Substances Act, and Obstruction of Justice

January 30, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on January 27, 2012 released the following:

“NEW ORLEANS— MELVIN HUDSON, age 26; JERMAINE HUDSON, age 25; TRAVIS HUDSON age 29; MOSES LAWSON, age 27; MONTERIO WIGGINS, age 27; RODERICK WIGGINS, age 22; DANTE CARSON, age 21; DWIGHT CARSON, age 22; TOREY RICHARDSON, age 21; TEDRICK REYNARD, age 24; SHAYNE LEBLANC, age 40; and AKAI SULLIVAN, age 27, were charged today in a 22-count superseding indictment for violations of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act, the Violent Crime in Aid of Racketeering Act, the Federal Gun Control Act, Controlled Substances Act, and obstruction of justice, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. MELVIN HUDSON was already under indictment but the other 11 defendants are newly charged.

This case arises out of a joint investigation by ATF, FBI, and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. This investigation targeted an area which exhibited a disproportionate amount of violent crimes and narcotics trafficking. During the course of the investigation, specific individuals were identified as the main perpetrators of many of the violent acts and much of the narcotics distribution. Based on this initial information, federal and local law enforcement officers interviewed witnesses, confidential informants, as well as state defendants, relative to the targeted individuals. It was revealed that a group of individuals operated in areas of Harvey Louisiana, specifically the neighborhoods known as Scottsdale and Haydel. This group controlled these areas for their narcotics distribution activities through violence and through threats of violence, to include murder, attempted murder, and assaults. They were referred to as the Harvey Hustlers and/or Murder Squad.

The third superseding indictment charges MELVIN HUDSON, in count one with RICO conspiracy; counts two, three, and four with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base, cocaine hydrochloride, and marijuana; count five with conspiracy to possess firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses; count six with obstruction of justice; count 15 with distribution of heroin; count 16 with prohibited person in possession of a firearm; Count 17 with possession with intent to distribute cocaine; and Count 18 with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

JERMAINE HUDSON, is charged in count one with RICO conspiracy; counts two and three with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base and cocaine hydrochloride; count five with conspiracy to possess firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses.

TRAVIS HUDSON, is charged in count one with RICO conspiracy; counts two and three with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base and cocaine hydrochloride; count five with conspiracy to possess firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses; and count 21 with distribution of cocaine base.

MOSES LAWSON, is charged in count one with RICO conspiracy; count two with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; count five with conspiracy to possess firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses; count seven with prohibited person in possession of a firearm; count eight with possession of a stolen firearm; count 12 with murder in aid of racketeering; count 13 with causing death through use of a firearm; and count 14 with use and carrying of a firearm and in relation to a crime of violence or drug trafficking offense.

MONTERIO WIGGINS, is charged in count one with RICO conspiracy; count two with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; count five with conspiracy to possess firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses; count 12 with murder in aid of racketeering; count 13 with causing death through use of a firearm; count 14 with use and carrying of a firearm and in relation to a crime of violence or drug trafficking offense; and count 19 with person under indictment in possession of a firearm.

RODERICK WIGGINS, is charged in count one with RICO conspiracy; count two with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; count five with conspiracy to possess firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses.

DANTE CARSON, is charged in count one with RICO conspiracy; count two with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; count five with conspiracy to possess firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses; counts nine, 10, and 11 with aiding and abetting in the unlawful acquisition of a firearm; count 12 with murder in aid of racketeering; count 13 with causing death through use of a firearm; count 14 with use and carrying of a firearm and in relation to a crime of violence or drug trafficking offense.

DWIGHT CARSON, is charged in count one with RICO conspiracy; count two with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; count five with conspiracy to possess firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses; counts nine, 10, and 11 with aiding and abetting in the unlawful acquisition of a firearm; count 12 with murder in aid of racketeering; count 13 with causing death through use of a firearm; count 14 with use and carrying of a firearm and in relation to a crime of violence or drug trafficking offense.

TOREY RICHARDSON, is charged in count one with RICO conspiracy; count two with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; count five with conspiracy to possess firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses.

TEDRICK REYNARD, is charged in count one with RICO conspiracy; count two with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; count five with conspiracy to possess firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses; and counts 20 and 22 with distribution of cocaine base.

SHAYNE LEBLANC, is charged in count two with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base.

AKAI SULLIVAN, is charged in count two with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; count five with conspiracy to possess firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses; and count six with obstruction of justice.

MONTERIO WIGGINS, DANTE CARSON, DWIGHT CARSON, and MOSES LAWSON are charged with murdering Reginald Francois on April 1, 2010. The third superseding indictment also alleges special findings against the defendants MONTERIO WIGGINS, DANTE CARSON, DWIGHT CARSON, and MOSES LAWSON. As a result, the death penalty could be imposed if convicted of either counts 12 or 13.

Count One
MELVIN HUDSON, JERMAINE HUDSON, TRAVIS HUDSON, MOSES LAWSON, MONTERIO WIGGINS, RODERICK WIGGINS, DANTE CARSON, DWIGHT CARSON, TOREY RICHARDSON, and TEDRICK REYNARD face up to a maximum term of life imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000.00 and up to five years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

Count Two
MELVIN HUDSON, JERMAINE HUDSON, TRAVIS HUDSON, MOSES LAWSON, MONTERIO WIGGINS, RODERICK WIGGINS, DANTE CARSON, DWIGHT CARSON, TOREY RICHARDSON, TEDRICK REYNARD, SHAYNE LEBLANC, and AKAI SULLIVAN face a minimum of 20 years’ imprisonment up to a maximum term of life imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000,000.00, and at least five years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

Count Three
MELVIN HUDSON, JERMAINE HUDSON, and TRAVIS HUDSON face a minimum of 20 years’ imprisonment up to a maximum term of life imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000,000.00, and at least five years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

Count Four
MELVIN HUDSON faces up to five years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and at least two years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

County Five
MELVIN HUDSON, JERMAINE HUDSON, TRAVIS HUDSON, MOSES LAWSON, MONTERIO WIGGINS, RODERICK WIGGINS, DANTE CARSON, DWIGHT CARSON, TOREY RICHARDSON, TEDRICK REYNARD, and AKAI SULLIVAN face up to 20 years’ imprisonment, up to $250,000.00 in fines, and up to three years’ supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

Count Six
MELVIN HUDSON and AKAI SULLIVAN face up to 20 years’ imprisonment, up to $250,000.00 in fines, and up to three years’ supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

Count Seven
MOSES LAWSON faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment, up to $250,000.00 in fines, and up to three years’ supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

Count Eight
MOSES LAWSON faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment, up to $250,000.00 in fines, and up to three years’ supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

Counts Nine-11
DANTE CARSON and DWIGHT CARSON face up to 10 years’ imprisonment, up to $250,000.00 in fines, and up to three years’ supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

Count 12
MOSES LAWSON, MONTERIO WIGGINS, DANTE CARSON, and DWIGHT CARSON face a maximum term of imprisonment of life or the death penalty.

Count 13
MOSES LAWSON, MONTERIO WIGGINS, DANTE CARSON, and DWIGHT CARSON face imprisonment for any term of years, life imprisonment or the death penalty, a fine of $250,000.00, and five years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

Count 14
MOSES LAWSON, MONTERIO WIGGINS, DANTE CARSON, and DWIGHT CARSON face a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years’ imprisonment up to a maximum term of life imprisonment, up to $250,000.00, and up to five years’ supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Any term of imprisonment shall be serve consecutive to any other term of imprisonment.

Count 15
MELVIN HUDSON faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,00,00.00, and at least three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

Count 16
MELVIN HUDSON faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment, up to $250,000.00 in fines, and up to three years’ supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

Count 17
MELVIN HUDSON faces up to a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000,000.00, and at least three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

Count 18
MELVIN HUDSON faces a minimum term of imprisonment of five years’ imprisonment up to a maximum term of life imprisonment, up to $250,000.00, and up to five years’ supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Any term of imprisonment shall be serve consecutive to any other term of imprisonment.

Count 19
MONTERIO WIGGINS faces up to five years’ imprisonment, up to $250,000.00 in fines, and up to three years’ supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

Count 20
TEDRICK REYNARD faces up to a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000,000.00, and at least three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

Count 21
TRAVIS HUDSON faces up to a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000,000.00, and at least three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

Count 22
TEDRICK REYNARD faces up to a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000,000.00, and at least three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

U.S. Attorney Letten reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Duane A. Evans.”

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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 Crimes Watch 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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions 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.


119 Individuals Charged in Three Countywide Law Enforcement Operations

January 26, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on January 25, 2012 released the following:

“Two Mexican Mafia Members and 117 San Diego County, California Street Gang Members and Associates with Ties to the Mexican Mafia Charged with Racketeering Conspiracy, Drug Trafficking Violations, and Firearms Offenses

119 Individuals Charged in Three Countywide Law Enforcement Operations

SAN DIEGO—A federal grand jury in San Diego has handed up 17 indictments and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California has filed eight criminal complaints charging a total of 119 defendants with federal racketeering conspiracy, drug trafficking violations, and federal firearm offenses, announced U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Laura E. Duffy.

U.S. Attorney Duffy said, “The cases unsealed today make communities stronger and safer. The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to an anti-gang, anti-violence strategy built on close coordination between federal, state and local officials. This coordination provides better intelligence about street gangs and violent crime within our communities. And better intelligence means better law enforcement and prosecutions.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Keith Slotter commented, “Today’s arrests mark one of the largest single takedowns in San Diego FBI history. The FBI and our law enforcement partners stand unified in our efforts to protect this county from the violence, drug trafficking and extortion schemes employed by the Mexican Mafia and its affiliates. San Diego is inherently safer today because of the cooperation between our agencies working together to disrupt and dismantle the criminal activities of these dangerous individuals.”

“This is a traditional case of dishonor amongst thieves,” commented San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore. “Gangs were made to pay ‘taxes’ in order to facilitate their trafficking and violent behavior. We answered with a one-two punch: a strong and experienced multi-agency investigation, armed with the RICO statute. The results speak for themselves.”

The charges stem from three investigations entitled, “Operation Notorious County,” “Operation Carnalismo,” and “Operation 12-Step.”

“Operation Notorious County”

The indictments are the result of an 18-month-long investigation entitled, “Operation Notorious County,” led by the North County Regional Gang Task force. Eight indictments charging 51 individuals, including one charging 40 defendants with participating in a federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) conspiracy were unsealed today. All five indictments were handed up by a federal grand jury sitting in San Diego on Jan. 19, 2012. The RICO conspiracy alleged in the indictment involves the commission of both state and federal crimes, including attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion, money laundering, and drug trafficking violations. As set forth in the indictment, the defendants are members, associates and facilitators of violent street gangs operating primarily in north San Diego County under the auspices of the Mexican Mafia or “La Eme.” The gangs named in the indictment include the Diablos and West Side gangs, based in Escondido, Calif., as well as the Varrio San Marcos and the Varrio Fallbrook Locos. The individuals named in the indictment were involved in a long-standing criminal enterprise used to extort money by threat or violence. The money was then sent on to high-ranking members of the Mexican Mafia, including defendant Rudy Espudo. The indictment alleges that Espudo is a validated member of the Mexican Mafia who oversees their activities throughout much of northern San Diego County.

“Operation Carnalismo”

In “Operation Carnalismo,” led by the Violent Crime Task Force-Gang Group, a group of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents led by the FBI, five indictments charging 36 individuals were unsealed today. Eight defendants are charged in one indictment with a conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity (RICO), violent crime in aid of racketeering (VCAR), distribution and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin and criminal forfeiture. Four additional indictments, charging 28 defendants were also unsealed. These related indictments charge distribution and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and criminal forfeiture. All five indictments were handed up by a federal grand jury sitting in San Diego on Jan. 24, 2012, and unsealed today. The RICO indictment charges the criminal enterprise was run by Mexican Mafia member Salvador Colabella. Colabella and his associates conspired to distribute methamphetamine and heroin, extorted and robbed others, and laundered drug-trafficking proceeds. Colabella and his associates collected the extortion payments through the threat of violence and the commission of violence. According to the indictment, the Mexican Mafia has about 200 members, but its reach extends to thousands of Hispanic street-gang members in Southern California. A Mexican Mafia member is the highest level one can attain in the Mexican Mafia. A member, also called “Brother” or “Carnal” or “Tio,” controls, exploits and profits from the criminal activity conducted by street-gang members and others. This control over the criminal activity is enforced through acts of violence or the threat of violence.

“Operation 12-Step”

This year-long investigation, known as “Operation 12-Step,” was led by the East County Regional Gang Task Force, a group of federal and state law enforcement led by the FBI and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Operation 12-Step focused on gang-related methamphetamine distribution activities in San Diego County. Today four indictments and eight complaints were unsealed charging 32 individuals with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. According to court records, individuals charged in this investigation belong to nine different criminal street gangs including Varrio Chula Vista, East Side Piru, Old Town National City, Shelltown, National City Locos, Imperial Beach Imperials, Paradise Hills, Varrio Encanto Locos and National City Block Boys. Between Feb. 22, 2011, and Dec. 13, 2011, law enforcement made more than 20 methamphetamine and heroin seizures in connection with this investigation. In addition, search warrants were executed at eight residences in San Diego; Spring Valley, Calif.; National City, Calif.; Imperial Beach, Calif.; and Chula Vista, Calif..

U.S. Attorney Duffy praised the coordinated effort of the law enforcement agencies of the Violent Crimes Task Force-Gang Group, the East County and North County Regional Gang Task Forces under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) for the coordinated team effort culminating in the charges filed in these cases. The OCDETF program was created to consolidate and utilize all law enforcement resources in this country’s battle against major drug trafficking.

The cases are being investigated by the FBI, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the National City, Calif., Police Department; the San Diego Police Department; the Escondido, Calif., Police Department; the Carlsbad, Calif., Police Department; the U.S. Marshals Service; the La Mesa, Calif., Police Department; the El Cajon, Calif., Police Department; the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office; the U.S. Bureau of Prisons; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; the San Diego County Probation Department; Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations; and Customs and Border Protection-United States Border Patrol.

The cases are being prosecuted in San Diego federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter Mazza, Jaime Parks, Fred Sheppard and Tara McGrath.

An indictment or a complaint are 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.”

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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

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch 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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions 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.


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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