Investigation Nets Alleged Cocaine Traffickers in Springfield, Virginia
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 22, 2009|
ALEXANDRIA, VA—Nine individuals were arrested this morning on cocaine trafficking charges as part of an ongoing investigation of cocaine dealers working in and around Springfield, Va. Two subjects were already in custody for unrelated state charges.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Joseph Persichini Jr., Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office; and Colonel David Rohrer, Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after the criminal complaint was unsealed and the defendants were arrested this morning. Court appearances are expected this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson.
“Combating illegal drugs has been—and will remain—a high priority for the U.S. Attorney’s office,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “The arrests today could not have been possible without the seamless coordination of our local and federal partners. Everyone involved in this operation had one goal—gather the evidence necessary to get as many drug traffickers off our streets as possible.”
“Today’s arrests demonstrate the need to collaborate regionally in a multijurisdictional effort to stop the illegal importation of drugs to the national capital region,” said Mr. Persichini. “I would like to particularly commend the Fairfax County Police Department and their dedicated investigators and analysts for bringing this to the forefront and garnering these arrests.”
“My investigators began this case over a year ago, and I’m very proud of the diligence and tireless efforts my men and women and all of our federal partners put into this international operation,” said Chief Rohrer. “This case demonstrates how the partnership we have with the FBI Washington Field Office and the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia enables us to investigate criminal enterprises that stretch far beyond the boundaries of Fairfax County. Taking suspected drug traffickers off the streets is extremely satisfying.”
According to the affidavit, an undercover detective with the Fairfax County Police Department began purchasing cocaine in the summer of 2008, from individuals in the Springfield, Va., area. The conspirators allegedly met on numerous occasions with the undercover officer and with each other at various locations, including area restaurants, businesses and convenience stores.
Through audio and video surveillance, the conspirators were recorded allegedly setting up drug sales, negotiating prices and complaining about cocaine amount and quality. According to the affidavit, at an earlier time in the investigation authorities conducted search warrants at residences allegedly tied to the conspirators and found cocaine, firearms, several mobile telephones and thousands of dollars in cash.
The defendants charged today include the following:
- Luis Soto Quintero, aka Siete, 37, of Nokesville, Va.
- Ismael Soto, 38, of Springfield, Va.
- Vincent Antonio Gardner, 42, of Capitol Heights, Md.
- Edwin Salguero, aka Omar, 38, of Alexandria, Va.
- Jose Tomas Cevallos Rodriguez, 30, of Springfield, Va.
- Olvin Omar Cevallos Rodriguez, 29, of Springfield, Va.
- Enrique Castro, 37, of South Ridge, Va
- Junior Asencio Gonzales, 20, of Springfield, Va.
- Milton Mendoza, 21, of Springfield, Va.
- Vanessa Flores, 24, of Springfield, Va.
- Jose Omar Castro Parada, 32, of Springfield, Va.
- Nelson Fuentes, 18, of Springfield, Va.
- David Antonio Amaya, 34, of Alexandria, Va.
Starting at 6:00 this morning, law enforcement began locating and arresting those charged in today’s complaint. Following the arrests, law enforcement recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, one kilogram of cocaine, and one firearm.
Two individuals—Flores and Gonzales—are still at large. Anyone with information about them should call the FBI’s Washington Field Office at 202 278-2000. If you see any of these individuals, DO NOT APPROACH THEM. Write down a description and any vehicle information and contact police or the FBI.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and Fairfax County Police Department, with the assistance of the Metropolitan Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorneys Scott Nussbum and Stephen Romero are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
The public is reminded that criminal complaints are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pacer.login.uscourts.gov.