Terry Goddard Announces Indictments and Breakup of Major Meth Ring
NOV 26 -- Phoenix, Ariz. ~ Attorney General Terry Goddard announced the indictment of 12 people involved in a major methamphetamine ring operating in Gila Bend and in the town of San Lucy Village on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation.
Grand jury indictments were returned against Natalie Annette Espinoza, 48, Julius Young, 28, James Franks, 32, Mike Noriz, 21, Daniel Mathew Gannon, 25, Nathan Neblina, 36, and Robert Brown, 69, all of Gila Bend; Cecilio Delgado-Encinas, 29, Roberto Gonzales, 33, Jesus Ruiz, 27, all of Buckeye; Ramon Ordonez, 32, of Tolleson; and Robert Dominguez, 38, of San Lucy Village. They face charges of conspiracy, illegal enterprise and sale of methamphetamine.
Last summer, members of the Tohono O’odham Police Department requested and obtained the assistance of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Mobile Enforcement Team to address a serious methamphetamine problem in the communities of San Lucy Village, located on the reservation, and Gila Bend in Maricopa County. DEA Agent’s also obtained the assistance of the Arizona Department of Public Safety and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
The DEA MET began an intensive investigation in August and numerous methamphetamine dealers were identified. Undercover agents purchased methamphetamine worth more than $40,000 in about 20 separate transactions, and sources of supply were identified. The investigation culminated last week with search warrants being executed in homes in Goodyear, Avondale, and Buckeye, Arizona. Several other individuals apprehended at the search warrant locations were arrested on outstanding federal warrants arising out of other charges.
"Methamphetamine is a devastating poison that negatively impacts the quality of life for Arizona" said Special Agent in Charge Elizabeth W. Kempshall. "This coordinated investigation and takedown is another example of the important partnership between our Federal, State, Local and Tribal Law Enforcement Agencies to make our communities a safer place."