22 Persons Charged in 4 Federal Drug Trafficking Indictments - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

22 Persons Charged in 4 Federal Drug Trafficking Indictments

DES MOINES, Iowa, Sept. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On September 6, 2007,a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Des Moines returned four indictments charging22 people with drug trafficking and related offenses in and about Polk County,Iowa, announced United States Attorney Matthew G. Whitaker.

Charged in the four indictments are: Alejandro Martinez-Garcia, GuadalupeRodriguez, Homero Landa, Alfonso Cervantes-Garcia, Miguel Angel Avalos, JavierSabino Luna, Martin Rodriguez, Carlos Armando Parra-Garcia, Oscar Garcia-Briceno, Eduardo Castillo, Jr., Gilberto Bernal-Balderas, Jason McNeeley,Rocio Saldana-Ibarra, Israel R. Flores, Miguel Tapia-Puga, Juan Manuel Chavez-Alverez, Mayra Elena Mireles, Jose Luis Velez-Delgado, Karlomar Quintanilla,Juan Alejandro Martinez-Chavez, Jose Alfredo Jiminez-Sandoval, and MiguelMurillo-Garcia.

Most of the 22 defendants are in state or federal custody pendingarraignment on the federal indictments. Only five of the defendants remain atlarge: Homero Landa, Jose Luis Velez-Delgado, Jose Alfredo Jiminez-Sandoval,Guadalupe Rodriguez, and Carlos Armando Parra-Garcia. Seventeen of the 22defendants are subject to detainers by Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE) because they are Mexican nationals illegally in the United States ofAmerica.

These cases are part of the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement TaskForce (OCDETF) program. This investigation is a good example of multi-agency,cooperative law enforcement, targeting an entire criminal organization byusing investigative techniques including a federal wiretap. The ongoinginvestigation is being led by the United States Drug EnforcementAdministration and the State of Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement. As aresult of this investigation, a criminal organization trafficking in illegaldrugs in central Iowa has been virtually eliminated, and the flow of drugsinto the area has been significantly interrupted.

United States Attorney Matthew G. Whitaker further announced that onAug.17, 2007, a multi-agency task force attempted to execute 20 arrestwarrants issued pursuant to federal criminal Complaints. Many of the peoplecharged in the current indictments were taken into custody pursuant to theseComplaints. They subsequently appeared in federal court and were bound overfor indictment. Also on August 17, the multi-agency task force simultaneouslyexecuted a series of federal search warrants in Polk County, which played asignificant role in obtaining these four indictments. As a result of thisinvestigation, approximately $576,000, 20 pounds of methamphetamine, 4handguns and an assault rifle have been seized.

One of the indictments charges 17 defendants with being involved in aconspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from about January 2006, to aboutAug. 17, 2007. The indictment further charges some defendants with additionalcounts of distribution of methamphetamine, possession with intent todistribute methamphetamine, distribution and possession with intent todistribute marijuana, and possession of firearms in furtherance of drugcrimes. The defendants could each face terms of imprisonment from 10 years tolife, a fine of not more than $4,000,000, or both imprisonment and a fine, anda term of supervised release of at least five years.

Two defendants charged in a separate six count indictment centering abouta conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in and about Polk County, Iowa,from about January 30, 2007, to about August 10, 2007 face terms ofimprisonment from five to 40 years, a fine of not more than $2,000,000, orboth imprisonment and a fine, and a term of supervised release of at leastfour years.

Another seven count indictment, charges two additional defendants stemmingfrom a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in and about Polk County,Iowa, from about October 2, 2006, to about Aug. 17, 2007. On the conspiracycount and two of the distribution counts, they each face imprisonment of fiveto 40 years, a fine of not more than $2,000,000, or both imprisonment and afine, and a term of supervised release of at least four years. On the threeadditional charges of distribution against these defendants, they each faceterms of imprisonment of up to 20 years, a fine of not more than $1,000,000,or both imprisonment and a fine, and a term of supervised release of at leastthree years.

Finally, charged in a separate five count indictment centering about aconspiracy to distribute cocaine in and about Polk County, Iowa, from aboutOctober 25, 2006, to about Dec. 8, 2006, is Miguel Murillo-Garcia, who ischarged with conspiracy and four counts of distribution of cocaine. On theconspiracy count, he faces imprisonment of five to 40 years, a fine of notmore than $2,000,000, or both imprisonment and a fine, and a term ofsupervised release of at least four years. On the four charges ofdistribution, he faces a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years, a fine of notmore than $1,000,000, or both imprisonment and a fine, and a term ofsupervised release of at least three years.

United States Attorney Matthew G. Whitaker reminds the public that eachcharge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent of eachand every charge until and unless proven guilty.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice

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