Home San Diego Press Releases 2013 East County Regional Gang Task Force Arrests More Than Two Dozen Following Year-Long Investigation of Major Meth...

East County Regional Gang Task Force Arrests More Than Two Dozen Following Year-Long Investigation of Major Meth Traffickers

U.S. Attorney’s Office February 13, 2013
  • Southern District of California (619) 557-5610

Early yesterday, a contingent of 150 federal, state, and local law enforcement officials arrested 28 people and seized 19 firearms—including fully automatic and semi-automatic assault rifles, silencers, and high-capacity magazines—in connection with a year-long investigation of major methamphetamine traffickers.

Many of the defendants are scheduled to be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Bartick at 1:30 p.m. today. Prosecutors will be available for interviews after court.

The arrests—from Spring Valley, La Mesa, and Jamul to National City, Chula Vista, and San Diego—were based on three grand jury indictments of 33 suspected methamphetamine traffickers unsealed in federal court Tuesday. The charges include conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of methamphetamine, and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Three defendants are still at large.

During the predawn raids, agents seized about 26 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated $291,200 street value; a pound of cocaine with estimated $12,800 street value; $151,000 in cash; and weapons that included an AR-15, a TEC 9, a Glock semi-automatic handgun, bolt action rifles, and five silencers. Eight of the guns and the silencers were found at one home on Millar Ranch Road in Jamul. Authorities also discovered indoor marijuana grows with hundreds of plants in two apartment units in Spring Valley.

The investigation, dubbed Red Menace, involved federal wiretaps, undercover drug buys, and extensive surveillance. Numerous defendants are documented members of gangs, including Skyline, Emerald Hills, and Oriental Killer Boys. Rival criminal street gangs often cross gang affiliation for the purpose of facilitating drug distribution.

The arrests are the latest in a series of large-scale, multi-agency crackdowns on street gang activity in San Diego County neighborhoods. Including yesterday’s action, more than 180 defendants have been charged in various federal gang prosecutions since January 2012, with more than 80 guilty pleas so far. Most charges are drug- and gun- related; sentences have ranged from 10 to 21 years in federal prison.

“We are committed to keeping neighborhoods out of the clutches of gang members who deal in drugs and who stash deadly, high-powered automatic weapons in their homes, next door to unwitting neighbors,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

U.S. Attorney Duffy praised the law enforcement agencies of the East County Regional Gang Task Force 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.

San Diego FBI Special Agent in Charge Daphne Hearn commented, “As our communities are faced with increasing threats of crime and violence, the FBI and our partners with the East County Regional Gang Task Force will work together to confront these threats and make our communities safer.”

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said, “This operation is ongoing. It’s a team effort that requires careful planning and persistent follow-through. Our aim is straightforward: take back communities for law-abiding families and protect them from gang members and drug dealers who threaten their safety.”

In the 1990s, San Diego County had the dubious distinction of being called the meth capital of the country, and East County was the hub of meth-related activity. Until recent years, methamphetamine was typically produced in small to medium quantities in local clandestine laboratories in homes, garages, storage units, apartments, and motel rooms.

Because of a law enforcement crackdown and policies that restrict access to ingredients needed to manufacture meth, San Diego County today has very few meth labs. But now, most of the methamphetamine available for sale here is linked to the sophisticated manufacturing and distribution operations of international drug cartels and local street gangs.

While law enforcement efforts have curtailed local manufacturing, methamphetamine use is still one of the biggest drug-related threats in the district—and the country.

And it’s coming across the border in significant quantities. While there has been a decline in the amount of marijuana and cocaine being smuggled through our district, there has been a significant increase in the amount of methamphetamine.

Border officials seized 427 loads of methamphetamine at San Diego ports of entry in fiscal year 2012 compared to 364 in fiscal year 2011. That’s a 17 percent increase. In Imperial County, the amount of methamphetamine seized jumped by almost 100 percent, from 745 kg to 1,442 kg.

Defendants
Case Number: 13cr0492-GPC

  • Pedro Millan; Age: 53; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Carlos Contreras Sanchez; Age: 30; Chula Vista, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Laura Millan; Age: 31; Chula Vista, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Princeton Beon Franks; Age: 32; Spring Valley, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Eduardo Sanchez; Age: 29; Bonita, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Gilberto Lamas; Age: 49; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Adolfo Siordia; Age: Unk; National City, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Rosita Eunice Corrales; Age: 28; Chula Vista, CA; Fugitive
  • Nicholas Oliveri; Age: 48; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • William Kilmer; Age: 56; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Stephanie Cleveland; Age: 43; Coronado, CA; Fugitive
  • James Cheevers; Age: 48; Coronado, CA; In state custody
  • Raymond Lopez; Age: 50; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Jasmine Millan; Age: 20; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Daniel Erique Millan-Aispuro; Age: 18; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Ascarelli Lopez; Age: 23; Highland, CA; Arrested 2/12/13

Summary of Charges

  • Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846—Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine
  • Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1)—Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute
  • Maximum Penalties: Life in Custody; Minimum Custody: 10 Years; Maximum Fine: $4 million

Case Number: 13cr0491-GPC

  • Christopher Robles; Age: 28; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Sarat Sek; Unconfirmed; San Diego, CA; Fugitive
  • Ronald Bonoan; Age: 40; Chula Vista, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Shannon White; Age: 39; La Mesa, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Robert Duren; Age: 41; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Joshua Wayne McGuire; Age: 34; La Mesa, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Robert McKinney; Age: 42; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Alfredo Barias; Age: 65; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Robert Young; Age: 31; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • David Marinelli; Age: 41; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Cory Evans; Age: 39; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Keith Lusk; Age: 44; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Pamela Miranda; Age: 25; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Scott Smith; Age: 52; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13

Summary of Charges

  • Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846—Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine
  • Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1)—Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute
  • Maximum Penalties: Life in Custody; Minimum Custody: 10 Years; Maximum Fine: $4 million

Case Number: 13cr0493-GPC

  • Roberto Carrillo Gonzalez; Age: 49; San Diego, CA; In state custody
  • Cedric Gregory; Age: 45; San Diego, CA; Arrested 2/12/13
  • Marcel Clady; Age: 43; San Diego, CA; In state custody

Summary of Charges

  • Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846—Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine
  • Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1)—Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute
  • Maximum Penalties: Life in Custody; Minimum Custody: 10 Years; Maximum Fine: $4 million

Agencies

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
  • La Mesa Police Department
  • San Diego County District Attorney’s Office
  • San Diego County Probation Department
  • El Cajon Police Department
  • San Diego Police Department
  • Chula Vista Police Department
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • U.S. Marshals Service
  • U.S. Border Patrol
  • California Highway Patrol
  • Drug Enforcement Administration’s Narcotics Task Force
  • Bureau of Prisons
  • Internal Revenue Service
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