News Release
Date: January 31, 2012
Contact: Special Agent Ramona Sanchez
Number: 602 664-5725

Two Brothers Sentenced for Roles in Large Drug Trafficking Organization Close to $800,000 in U.S. currency and residence forfeited

PHOENIX – Francisco Gomez-Cazares, 49, of Phoenix, and Victor Gomez-Cazares, 35, of Phoenix, were sentenced on January 25, 2012, by U.S. District Court Judge James A. Teilborg to 210 months and 188 months in federal prison, respectively.  Both were also ordered to forfeit assets used to facilitate the commission of their offense, which included $793,965.50 in U.S. currency, a residence located on West Coolidge Street in Phoenix, a gun, and ammunition.

“Meth dealers must face the harsh consequences of distributing such a highly addictive and dangerous drug to our communities,” said Doug Coleman, DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge. “DEA and our law enforcement partners are striking back at drug traffickers who have chosen to use Arizona as a venue for their illegal drug trade. Our communities are benefitting today from our collaborative efforts, dedication and hard work.”

“Not only do these individuals face stiff prison sentences,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel, “but they will not enjoy the benefit of their ill-gotten gains upon release from prison.”  “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to rid our communities of the toxic effects left by those who traffic in dangerous drugs.”

Dawn Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation stated, “These sentences reflect the grave nature of narcotics crimes.  IRS is committed to fighting the war on drugs along with other federal, state and local agencies, making sure we target the profit and financial gains of narcotics traffickers.”

On May 24, 2011, both individuals pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Actual Methamphetamine.  The plea agreements disclosed that, from March, 2010 to May, 2010, both Francisco and Victor Gomez-Cazares agreed with Jesus Bueno-Hernandez and others to traffic methamphetamine.  Jesus Bueno-Hernandez was sentenced on September 12, 2011, by U.S. District Court Judge James A. Teilborg to 87 months in federal prison.

The plea agreements also disclosed the following facts about the conspiracy:

  • In March, 2010:
    • Francisco shipped eight pounds of methamphetamine to Bueno-Hernandez;
    • Victor provided $309,900 in drug proceeds to another person;
  • In April, 2010:
    • The Nevada Highway Patrol stopped a vehicle that had exited Victor’s residence in Phoenix earlier in the day.  Nearly three pounds of methamphetamine were found in a hidden compartment in the vehicle;
  • In May, 2010:
    • A search warrant was executed at Francisco's residence in Phoenix, where agents seized $117,650 from inside a hidden compartment behind the seat of a white Ford car. During the search, agents also seized a handgun in Francisco's bedroom;
    • A search warrant was simultaneously executed at Victor’s residence, where agents seized 19.6 grams of actual methamphetamine, a bundle of currency totaling $9,900, a money counter, packaging materials, and ledgers.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.  The prosecution was handled by Keith Vercauteren, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

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