News Release
June 18, 2008
Contact: Special Agent Eileen Zeidler
Number: 858-616-4166

Head of Local Methamphetamine Trafficking Group Pleads Guilty

JUN 18 -- (San Diego, CA) – Andres Chavez-Chavez pled guilty in federal district court on Tuesday, June 17 to being the leader of a drug trafficking organization that was responsible for the distribution of no less than 220 pounds of methamphetamine within San Diego County. On May 17, 2007, Chavez-Chavez and several other individuals were arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a result of Operation My Three Brothers.

Operation My Three Brothers involved hundreds of hours of surveillance and the use of court-authorized wire intercepts of telephones used by the alleged drug traffickers. On May 17, 2007, federal agents and local law enforcement officers executed 18 search warrants at locations throughout San Diego County, including residences located in Chula Vista, National City, Vista, Pauma Valley, Fallbrook, and Escondido. In total, Operation My Three Brothers and related DEA investigations resulted in the arrest and charging of over 50 people in federal and state court on drug and money-laundering counts, the removal of 18 illegal aliens from the United States, and the seizure of approximately 69 pounds of methamphetamine, 9 kilograms of heroin, two pounds of marijuana, 15 firearms, and $320,000 in U.S. currency.

During his pleading, Chavez-Chavez, a Mexican national who was illegally in the United States, admitted his drug trafficking organization had over five members working in the San Diego area that were responsible for the distribute of methamphetamine. A number of the individuals involved with the Chavez-Chavez drug trafficking group were also Mexican nationals who had illegally entered the United States. Chavez-Chavez’s guilty plea follows several other guilty pleas stemming from Operation My Three Brothers, including his brothers Salvador Chavez-Chavez and David Chavez-Chavez.

Special Agent in Charge Ralph W. Partridge commended DEA’s law enforcement partners for their support in this investigation. Those participating agencies were the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California; the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service; the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the United States Marshals Service; the Escondido Police Department; the National City Police Department; and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for their support of this investigation.

The defendant is scheduled to appear for sentencing on September 15, 2008, before United States District Judge William Q. Hayes.