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Twenty charged in drug distribution conspiracy

SEP 18 (DALLAS) - A total of 20 individuals are now in custody following a law enforcement operation this week led by special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  Seventeen of the 20 charged were in the United States illegally at the time the offenses occurred  Special Agent in Charge Clyde E. Shelley, Jr. of the Drug Enforcement Administration and John Parker, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas announced today.

Seventeen of the 20 individuals are charged with conspiracy drug trafficking charges outlined in a criminal indictment returned in August 2017, and partially unsealed today.  The other three individuals are charged in criminal complaints returned last week and this week in Dallas.  One complaint remains partially sealed. One defendant charged in the indictment is in state custody on an unrelated state charges and has yet to make his appearance on the indictment.  Four other defendants have not been arrested.

The defendants have made their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney. Three defendants have detention hearings pending, but Magistrate Judge Stickney ordered that the remaining defendants be detained without bond pending resolution of the criminal case.  Those arrested include:

Juliana Millan, aka “Julie,” “Julie Lopez,” 33
Horacio Romero Alpizar, aka “Old Man,” 57
Erick Arellano, aka “Gordo,” “Gorras,” 23
Joel Sanchez Bravo, aka “Um9449,” 42
Marko Cardenas, aka “Um3821,” 29
Rigoberto Flores-Gomez, aka “Zapatito,” 33
Francisco Garcia, aka “Cacheton,” 49
Claudia Garcia-Camacho, 22
Juan Manuel Iturve, 36
Mayra Lira, 27
Noe Lopez-Martinez, 22
Brandon Lutrick, 41
Armando Martinez-Martinez, 26
Gabriela Morales, 30
Gerardo Ortiz, 27
Martin Santana, 34
Jose Guadalupe Valentin, aka “Chemo,” “Um6475,” 38
Ricardo Valle, aka “Um 6025,” 33
Rufino Santamaria-Varona, 23
Franuel Teran-Rojo, 21

“Today is one of many examples how law enforcement agencies and the prosecutors unite to make our communities a safer place,” said Special Agent in Charge Shelley.  “We will continue to eliminate these threats to our citizens.”

“Disrupting drug trafficking organizations like this one is a critical part of our mission,” said U.S. Attorney Parker.  “But we can’t do it alone and that’s why our law enforcement partnerships are essential.”

This poly-drug organization distributed substantial quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine in Dallas, Texas, and other areas of the United States.  During yesterday’s operation, law enforcement officers and agents seized approximately 26 kilograms of methamphetamine, three kilograms of heroin, four kilograms of cocaine, 22 handguns, three rifles, one silencer, 22 vehicles, one non-operational methamphetamine conversion laboratory, and approximately $300,000. 

 A federal criminal indictment is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged.  A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.  The drug trafficking charges carry a mandatory minimum of 10 years’ imprisonment and a maximum of life, and a fine of $10,000,000.
A criminal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge.  A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.  The government has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment. 
Besides the DEA, other participating agencies include the United States Marshals Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Dallas Police Department, Farmer’s Branch Police Department, Garland Police Department, Rockwall Police Department, Waxahachie Police Department, Plano Police Department, Collin County Sheriff’s Office, DeSoto Police Department, McKinney Police Department, Mesquite Police Department, Denton County Sheriff’s Office, Tulsa Police Department, Fort Worth Police Department, Rowlett Police Department, and the Texas Child Protection Services.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanna Etessam is prosecuting.

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