Federal Criminal Trial Resumes in Laredo Federal Court For Three Men Accused of a Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy

July 23, 2013

Laredo Morning Times on July 23, 2013 released the following:

Three stand trial in alleged cocaine trafficking conspiracy

By César G. Rodriguez
Laredo Morning Times

Three men are standing trial this week in federal court before U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo, accused of taking part in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy.

An indictment filed June 27, 2012, charges Enrique Mendez, Carlos Flores Sr., and Carlos Flores Jr., with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a quantity of at least 5 kilograms of cocaine. Mendez faces additional charges of money laundering conspiracy and obstruction by threats of force while Flores Sr. faces an added charge of possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.

Robert Flores, Homeland Security Investigations special agent, took the stand as the first witness. He talked about several surveillance instances which implicated a man identified as Elbert Figueroa and the Floreses. Federal authorities identified Figueroa as the person in charge of the connections in Mexico and the transportation cells in Laredo. Figueroa would pick up cocaine and stash it to later be moved to Atlanta. He was also in charge of receiving drug money to later be taken into Mexico. Money seizures included sums in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Agents arrested Figueroa in 2010 on conspiracy and cocaine charges. He’s yet to be sentenced.

Part of the conspiracy was to recruit individuals to perform various functions critical to the success of the organization. An indictment states that people assisted in the storage, loading, transportation, unloading, conducting surveillance and delivery of drug shipments. During the conspiracy, commercial tractor-trailers had to be used to transport cocaine from Texas to Georgia. Drug proceeds flowed down to Laredo to pay for transportation costs and other expenses. The rest of money was headed to Mexico, according to the indictment.

In opening statements, defense attorney Silverio A. Martinez Jr., who represents Mendez, said a man violated his client’s and took advantage of the yard at KCM Transportation, 645 Rancho Peñitas Road, owned by Mendez. Martinez said truckers are not supposed to fill the trailer with illicit items.

About the “kidnapping” or obstruction by threats of force allegation against Mendez, Martinez said that was false. Martinez told jurors they’ll hear testimony that the alleged victim was at a ranch cooking out and drinking beer with an illegal immigrant. The victim had his vehicle’s keys in his pocket and was never kidnapped.

Martinez told jurors that Figueroa was protecting the real “boss” in hopes that’d reduce his sentence.

The trial resumed at 8:30 a.m. today.”

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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

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global 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.

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Alleged Sinola Cartel Members Arrested in Drug Conspiracy

September 4, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on September 4, 2012 released the following:

“CONCORD—Three members of the Sinaloa Cartel were arrested on drug conspiracy charges after a three-year long investigation, announced United States Attorney John P. Kacavas.

Manuel Jesus Guttierez Guzman, Rafael Humberto Celaya Valenzuela, and Samuel Zazueta Valenzuela were arrested in the port city of Algeciras, Spain, on August 7, 2012, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Spanish National Police. The arrests resulted from a three-year long investigation into the drug smuggling activities of the Sinaloa Cartel as it attempted to establish a market for cocaine in Europe and in the United States. Law enforcement authorities also seized 346 kilograms of cocaine that were shipped by the cartel as part of the undercover operation. Authorities seized a quantity of heroin and methamphetamine in May 2012 in Detroit, Michigan, that was tendered by the cartel as partial payment for costs incurred in previously scheduled by aborted shipments of cocaine.

Also arrested in Spain was Jesus Soto, an individual who was sent to Spain by the cartel to monitor the safety of the shipment of cocaine.

Manuel Guzman is the first cousin of Joaquin Guzman-Loera, also known as “Chapo,” the reputed leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.

A New Hampshire grand jury returned an indictment charging Guttierez Guzman and the Valenzuelas and others with conspiracy to distribute 1000 or more kilograms of cocaine. The investigation involved meetings with members of the conspiracy in New Hampshire, Florida ,and the Virgin Islands at which the details of the drug distribution scheme were discussed.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire is working with the Office of International Affairs and the kingdom of Spain to obtain the extradition of those arrested. Each of the arrested individuals is a citizen of Mexico.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Boston Police Department with the assistance of the Spanish National Police.

The public is reminded that an indictment is a charge brought by the grand jury, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty 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

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global 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.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

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Thirteen Individuals Indicted for Alleged Drug Trafficking in Jackson and Shannon County

August 9, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 9, 2012 released the following:

Part of Operation Eagle Eye

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that 13 individuals have been indicted by a federal grand jury for drug conspiracy and distribution offenses alleged to have occurred in Jackson County and Shannon County at various times October 2008 through July 2012.

The charges are a result of Operation Eagle Eye, a controlled substances investigation conducted by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, whose member agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the Pierre Police Department, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe-Department of Public Safety. In addition to task force members, other agencies assisting in the arrests were the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Martin Police Department; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Drug Enforcement Administration; and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

The individuals charged include the following:

  • Anita Lucine Brown, 58, of Wanblee—charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. If convicted, Brown could face a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment, a $5,000,000 fine, or both.
  • Reed Thomas Brown, Jr., a/k/a “Baby Reed,” 37, of Wanblee—charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. If convicted, Brown could face a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment, a $5,000,000 fine, or both.
  • Clifford Wayne Richards, Jr., a/k/a “Beaver,” 56, of Wanblee—charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and three counts of distribution of marijuana. If convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, Richards could face a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment, a $5,000,000 fine, or both. If convicted of marijuana distribution, Richards could face a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.
  • Gerald Baker, Sr., 27, of Interior—charged with one count of distributing marijuana in a school zone. In convicted, Baker could face a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both.
  • Casey Bettelyoun, 31, of Wanblee—charged with one count of distributing a substance or mixture containing methamphetamine in a school zone. If convicted, Bettelyoun could face a maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment, a $2,000,000 fine, or both.
  • Roger Bettelyoun, 56, of Wanblee—charged with four counts of distributing marijuana. If convicted, Bettelyoun could face a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both.
  • Royce Gone, 32, of Wanblee—charged with one count of distributing marijuana in a school zone. If convicted, Gone could face a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.
  • Jordan Long Soldier, 40, of Wanblee—charged with two counts of distributing marijuana. If convicted, Long Solider could face a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.
  • Angel Provincial, 22, of Wanblee—charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine. If convicted, Provincial could face a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.
  • Robert Provincial, 32, of Wanblee—charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine. If convicted, Provincial could face a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.
  • Howard Red Elk, 45, of Wanblee—charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana in public housing. If convicted, Red Elk could face a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $500,000 fine, or both.
  • Tyson Red Elk, 22, of Wanblee—charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana in public housing. If convicted, Red Elk could face a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $500,000 fine, or both.
  • Virgil Red Elk, 30, of Wanblee—charged with one count of distributing marijuana. If convicted, Red Elk could face a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both.

No further details regarding the cases will be available until the individuals have appeared in federal court. The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and all the individuals named in the indictment are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ted McBride.”

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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 global criminal news, please read The Global 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.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


Cocaine Trafficking Charges Filed Against 72 People for Alleged Conspiracy Focused on East Side of Cleveland

June 12, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on June 12, 2012 released the following:

“CLEVELAND— Seventy-two people were indicted in federal court in the Northern District of Ohio for their roles in a conspiracy to bring powder and crack cocaine in from Georgia and Kentucky and sell it throughout Greater Cleveland, law enforcement officials announced today.

Four of those indicted are also accused of taking part in the shooting and robbery of a Euclid, Ohio man in January 2012. That shooting led to a manhunt throughout Euclid and Cleveland.

An additional 14 people were indicted in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Common Pleas Court on state drug charges.

The indictment is believed to be the largest ever filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, in terms of number of defendants.

“The criminal activity laid out in this indictment shows the lengths people will go to sell drugs, but it should also underscore our commitment to fighting back,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

“This investigation and 97-count indictment represent a top-to-bottom dismantlement of a violent criminal organization intent on polluting our neighborhoods with drugs,” said Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Field Office. “As evidenced by the results of this investigation, the Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force and its community partners will work tirelessly to target and eliminate the most significant threats to our communities.”

Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said, “With these 86 indictments, a major blow has been dealt to drug trafficking in this area. This is another example of what can be accomplished when our law enforcement partners work together to identify and arrest those individuals responsible for selling drugs in our communities. Along with our law enforcement partners and the community, we will continue to work together to stop the sale of illegal drugs in our neighborhoods.”

The drug conspiracy took place between 2011 and May 2012, according to the 97-count federal indictment.

Walter Williams obtained kilogram amounts of cocaine in Georgia and elsewhere and transported the drugs to Cleveland, where he sold the cocaine to Edward Martin and others. Martin, in turn, sold large amounts of cocaine to Deante Rogers, Thomas McDonald, Aaron Strange, Andy Gray, Jamar Pennyman, T’Andre Buchanan, Irin Green, David Paige, Demtrius Duvall, Dennis Edwards, Shaughn Hubbard, Richard Wilson, and others in the Greater Cleveland area, according to the indictment.

Chase Downey, John Campbell, Javier Garza, and Francisco Rodriguez, all of Kentucky, traveled to the Cleveland area and sold kilograms of cocaine to Charles Smith, Randy Jackson, Deante Rogers, Thomas McDonald, and others, according to the indictment.

Deante Rogers used his Cleveland residence to sell, process, and store cocaine and crack cocaine, according to the indictment.

Charles Smith used a Euclid residence to sell, process, and store cocaine and crack cocaine, according to the indictment.

Rogers and Smith would then sell cocaine and crack cocaine to dozens of other people, according to the indictment.

On January 6, 2012, John Campbell, Chase Downey, Francisco Rodriguez, and R.D. (a person known to the grand jury but not charged herein) met Charles Smith at the residence in Euclid and offered to sell him a kilogram of cocaine for $30,000, according to the indictment.

During the meeting, Rodriguez shot Smith twice and Campbell, Downey, and Rodriguez and took nearly 900 grams of cocaine, 300 grams of crack cocaine, and $30,000, according to the indictment.

Cuyahoga County prosecutors have charged Rodriguez, Downey, Campbell, and R.D. for those acts, as well as for the shootout with police that followed.

Federal prosecutors are also seeking to forfeit assets obtained directly or indirectly as a result of the violations or used to commit or facilitate the commission of the violations, including but not limited to, more than $93,000 in cash; nine firearms; a watch; jewelry; a Ford F150; and three homes.

“By following the money trail, special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation help to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations that attempt to conceal the true source of their money from the government,” said Darryl Williams, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-Criminal Investigation.

If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendants’ prior criminal record, if any; the defendants’ role in the offense; and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentences will not exceed the statutory maximum, and in most cases, they will be less than the minimum.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph M. Pinjuh and Adam Hollingsworth following an investigation by the Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force (NOLETF).

The NOLETF is a long standing multi-agency task force comprised of investigators from the FBI; Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority; Drug Enforcement Administration; IRS; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service; Cleveland Division of Police; Cleveland Heights, Ohio Police Department; Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office; Euclid Police Department; Regional Transit Authority Police Department; Strongsville, Ohio Police Department; Westlake, Ohio Police Department; and Shaker Heights, Ohio Police Department. The NOLETF is also one of the initial Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) initiatives. The HIDTA Program supports and helps coordinate numerous Ohio drug task forces in their efforts to eliminate or reduce drug-trafficking in Ohio.

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

————————————————————–

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.


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