U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of California
(415) 436-7200
December 10, 2015

Jury Convicts Gang Member of Trafficking Crystal Methamphetamine in San Jose

SAN JOSE, CA—Eduardo Arriaga was convicted today of trafficking crystal methamphetamine and using a firearm as part of his narcotics trafficking, announced Acting United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Federal Bureau of Investigations Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson. The guilty verdict followed a jury trial before the Honorable Edward J. Davila, U.S. District Judge, and represents the ninth conviction resulting from a proactive operation by the FBI’s Santa Clara County Violent Gang Task Force.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Arriaga, 40, of San Jose, has been a Sureño gang member for over 20 years. On April 29, 2012, Arriaga possessed a pound of crystal methamphetamine, and sold a half-ounce of it to a confidential informant working for the FBI. Arriaga, believing the confidential informant was a Sureño gang member from Southern California, conducted the drug deal out of his garage in San Jose while armed with a handgun. Approximately two months later, in the same garage, the confidential informant witnessed Arriaga with approximately a half-pound of additional crystal methamphetamine, a portion of which Arriaga sold to a fellow Sureño gang member. During that drug deal, Arriaga had two different handguns in his garage. In reaching its verdict, the jury found that Arriaga possessed 50 grams and more of crystal methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it and that he possessed a firearm in furtherance of his narcotics trafficking.

Arriaga was indicted on July 31, 2013, as part of the FBI’s crackdown on Sureño gangs in Santa Clara County. The FBI’s investigation into these gangs culminated in eight separate indictments alleging the distribution and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine throughout Santa Clara County. The defendants charged in the crackdown include the following: (1) the reputed “matriarch,” of 8th Street Gilroy (Maria Salinas); (2) the co-conspirator mother and daughter combination associated with the Sureño gang “Varrio Sur Town” (Laura Garcia and Vanessa Pulido), and (3) known members of the Sureño gangs “Colonias,” “Varrio Mexicanos Locos,” “Poco Way,” and “Varrio Paisanos Locos.” The status of the matters against these additional defendants is as follows:

Defendant

Charges

Docket Number

Sentence

LAURA GARCIA

a/k/a “Blinky” and

VANESSA PULIDO

a/k/a “Bunny”

Distribution of Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

CR 13-00508 LHK

9/24/14

65 months

12/9/14

24 months home detention

RAFAEL MEDINA

a/k/a “Conejo”

Distribution and Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

CR 13-00507 LHK

10/22/14

75 months

RAUL VALLE MORFIN a/k/a “Green Eyes”

Distribution of Methamphetamine

CR 13-00509 DLJ

6/19/14

78 months

JESUS QUINONES

a/k/a “Canas”

Distribution of Methamphetamine

CR 13-00503 DLJ

10/9/14

60 months

JAIRO QUINTANA

a/k/a “Hido”

Distribution of Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

CR 13-00506 LHK

7/23/14

70 months

MARIA SALINAS

a/k/a “Grumpy”

Distribution of Methamphetamine

CR 13-00504 LHK

6/4/14

26 months

ULYSSES VASQUEZ a/k/a “Dreamer”

Distribution and Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

CR 13-00502 RMW

Pleaded guilty to conspiracy; sentencing is pending

Arriaga is currently being held in custody and is scheduled to be sentenced on February 29, 2016, before Judge Davila in San Jose. Arriaga faces a maximum penalty of two life sentences, and a minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Assistant United States Attorneys Marissa Harris and Stephen Meyer are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Yolanda Singletary, Nina Burney, and Ryka Barghi. The case is the result of an investigation by the FBI.

This content has been reproduced from its original source.