Home San Diego Press Releases 2013 Nearly Four Dozen Suspected Meth and Heroin Traffickers Indicted

Nearly Four Dozen Suspected Meth and Heroin Traffickers Indicted
Officials Make Arrests in North County Sweep

U.S. Attorney’s Office April 17, 2013
  • Southern District of California (619) 557-5610

Eighteen suspected methamphetamine and heroin traffickers were arrested during pre-dawn raids around the North County today.

More than 200 agents and detectives from the multi-agency North County Regional Gang Task Force made the arrests in Oceanside, Vista, Escondido, and elsewhere in the North County. Task force members confiscated 35 weapons during the course of the investigation. Among the weapons seized were handguns, semi-automatic rifles, and shotguns, including a 12-gauge Street Sweeper semi-automatic.

These arrests are associated with the unsealing of 15 grand jury indictments today charging 46 defendants with various narcotics trafficking crimes, including conspiracy plus importation, distribution, and possession of methamphetamine. A few defendants were charged with heroin trafficking.

“The number and types of weapons seized in this investigation are troubling,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “We will to continue to target these well-armed drug traffickers who operate in our neighborhoods and put all of us at risk—especially our children.”

The North County Regional Gang Task Force is a multi-agency group including the FBI, ATF, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and police departments in Oceanside and Carlsbad, with assistance from other federal and local law enforcement agencies as well.

Daphne Hearn, FBI Special Agent in Charge, said, “Today’s arrests by the North County Regional Gang Task Force are the result of a long-term multi-agency investigation by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies working together. The FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to make our communities a safer place.”

“It is only by the extremely hard work, commitment, and passion from the collaborative North County Gang Task Force that made Operation Corridor such a tremendous success,” said Oceanside police Chief Frank S. McCoy. “This operation is a great example of local and federal law enforcement agencies from all over San Diego joining together to combat drug traffickers in our community who threaten the safety and security of our citizens.”

“ATF considers the North County Gang Task Force a critical partner in its long-term mission of combating violent crime and removing criminals from our communities as was shown in Operation Corridor,” said Steven J. Bogdalek, Special Agent in Charge ATF Los Angeles Field Division. “ATF will continue to dedicate federal resources and work with our local agencies in the pursuit of eradicating illegal firearm trafficking and criminal activity.”

“Operation Corridor exemplifies the good work done by multiple agencies in San Diego County,” said San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore. “This is a multi-faceted approach to reducing violent crime and those who perpetrate it. This investigation is a prime example of how effective Intelligence Led Policing can be with respect to targeting prolific, criminal offenders and managing law enforcement resources. Operation Corridor has been extremely effective in restoring quality of life to our residents in the North County along the 78 corridor.”

“I commend all of the law enforcement professionals in the San Diego area who worked tirelessly in this coordinated effort to combat the threats that violence and fear tactics pose to public safety in our communities,” said Derek Benner, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations San Diego.

Defendants in Case Number: 13cr1128-BEN

NameAgeLocationStatus
Laura Cruz 32 Oceanside, California Already in custody
Raul Alvarado 34 Vista, California Already in custody
Robert Rodriguez 36 Escondido, California Already in custody
Carrie Brown-Rodriguez 33 Escondido, California Arrested April 15, 2013
Anthony Palafox 31 Oceanside, California Arrested April 17, 2013
Jessica Holguin 34 Oceanside, California Arrested April 17, 2013
Robert Aguilar 33 Oceanside, California At large
Christian Garundo 20 Escondido, California Already in custody
Erick Garcia-Martinez 23 San Ysidro, California At large
Joshua Sanchez 36 Oklahoma Arrested April 17, 2013
Travis Job 36 San Diego, California Arrested April 17, 2013
Brian Ramirez 28 Oceanside, California Arrested April 17, 2013
Andy Espinoza 22 Oceanside, California Arrested April 17, 2013
Lori Story 40 Vista, California Arrested April 17, 2013
Angel Olmos 31 Oceanside, California At large
Brad Woolard 43 Oceanside, California Arrested April 17, 2013
Jose Antonio 30 Oceanside, California Already in custody
Emily Baker 33 Oceanside, California At large
Monorin Phiakeo 33 San Diego, California Arrested April 17, 2013
Jessica Kisner 25 San Marcos, California At large
Hector Medrano 51 Vista, California Arrested April 17, 2013
Frankie King 40 Vista, California Arrested April 17, 2013


Summary of Charges

Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and Title 21, United States Code, Sections 952, 960 (b) (1) (H) and 963-conspiracy to import methamphetamine; Title 21, United States Code, Section 841 (a) (1)-possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute

Case Number: 13cr1238BEN

NameAgeResidenceStatus
Lydia Lucio 41 Oceanside, California Arrested April 17, 2013
David Gamez 33 Vista, California Arrested April 17, 2013
Ana Alvizovital 30 Oceanside, California Already in custody
Errol White 37 Oceanside, California Arrested April 17, 2013
Rudolph Figueroa 49 Lake Elsinore, California Arrested April 17, 2013


Summary of Charges

Title 21, United States Code, Sections 952, 960 (b) (2) (A)-conspiracy to import heroin; Title 21, United States Code Sections 952, 960 and 963-conspiracy to import heroin

Case Number: 1232BEN

Alexandra Aguirre, 29 Oceanside, California
Arrested April 17, 2013

Summary of Charges

Title 21, United States Code, Sections 952, 960-importation of heroin

Case Number: 13cr1239MMA

Thomas Media, 34, Oceanside, California
Pablo Diaz, 45, Oceanside, California
Both arrested April 17, 2013

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

Case Number: 13cr1237L

Steven Hernandez, 40, Vista, California
Arrested April 17, 2013
Juan Uribe, 32, Temecula, California
Already in 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

Case Number: 13cr1243BEN

Robert Sarmiento, 34, Vista, California
Arrested April 17, 2013

Summary of Charges

Title 21, United States Code, Section 841 (a) (1)-possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute; Title 18, United States Code, Section 922 (g) (1)-felon in possession of a firearm

Case Number: 13cr1242AJB

Carlos Rivera, 27, San Marcos, California
Arrested April 17, 2013

Summary of Charges

Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846-conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; Title 18, United States Code, Section 922 (g) (1)-felon in possession of a firearm

Case Number: 13cr1241BEN

Steven North, age 30, Oceanside, California
Arrested April 17, 2013
Robert Guilar, 33, Oceanside, California
At large

Summary of Charges

Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B)-distribution of methamphetamine; Title 18, United States Code, Section 922 (g) (1)-felon in possession of a firearm

Case Number: 13cr1231JAH

Javier Alvarez, 42 Oceanside, California
Already in custody

Summary of Charges

Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1)-distribution of methamphetamine

Case Number: 13cr1244W

Paul Woods, 43, Oceanside, California
At large

Summary of Charges

Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1)-distribution of methamphetamine

Case Number: 13cr1233BEN

Armando Arellano, 32, Vista, California
Already in custody

Summary of Charges

Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1)-distribution of methamphetamine

Case Number: 13cr1234WQH

Rudy Blanco, 38, Escondido, California
Amanda Kopp, 28, Vista, California
Both arrested April 17, 2013

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) and (b) (1) (B) (viii)-distribution of methamphetamine

Case Number: 13cr1240L

George Molina, 31, Carlsbad, California
Ulysses Ramos, 25, Vista, California
Both already in 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) and (b) (1) (B) (viii)-possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute

Case Number: 13cr1235JAH

Rouanne Diaz, 40, Vista, California
Arrested April 17, 2013
Deandra Cox, 31, Vista, California
Already in 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) and (b) (1) (B) (viii)-distribution of methamphetamine

Case Number: 13cr1236GPC

Adam Espino, 33, Vista, California
Arrested April 17, 2013

Summary of Charges

Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a) (1)-distribution of methamphetamine

Agencies

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Oceanside Police Department
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
Homeland Security Investigations
Carlsbad Police Department

An indictment or complaint itself 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.

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