Eight Indicted In Santa Rosa Methamphetamine Ring
FEB 16 -- SAN FRANCISCO – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Peña and United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced that Operation Emerald Web has resulted in eight arrests in the North Bay as part of a multi-year investigation into the trafficking of methamphetamine and other drugs. The charges against the defendants include conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine, distribution of methamphetamine, and maintaining a place for manufacturing, storing, and distributing marijuana. The indictment against the eight individuals, all residents of Santa Rosa, California, was filed on February 6, 2007, and unsealed yesterday after the individuals were arrested by federal and state law enforcement officers. Three of the individuals made their initial appearances this morning in court before Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James, the remaining five made their initial appearances yesterday morning.
The arrests mark the latest action in an ongoing, multi-agency Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) investigation, one of the largest ever directed against narcotics trafficking in the North Bay. The investigation, begun in late 2004, was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with substantial assistance from the Sonoma County Narcotics Task Force, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department, the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, the Santa Rosa Police Department, the Petaluma Police Department, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office.
U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan stated, “This investigation represents the results of this office’s commitment to bringing federal resources to bear on the growing problem of methamphetamine trafficking in Santa Rosa and the northern Bay Area counties. It also demonstrates the ability of multiple federal and state agencies to collaborate against organized crime that stretches across at least three counties.”
“Drug traffickers often weave tangled webs full of violence, deceit and greed. Operation Emerald Web is another example of DEA's commitment to work with our partners in law enforcement in dismantling these organizations,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Pena.
“The success of this operation is a testament to the hard work and professionalism of all the members of the task force," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Charlene B. Thornton, “The FBI is proud to be working together with our federal, state, and local partners to make a clear difference in the northern Bay Area.”
In the course of this investigation in the past two years, numerous searches have resulted in the seizure of:
The DEA estimates the street value of the seized drugs to be over $5 million.
The following individuals were indicted by the federal grand jury on February 6, 2007:
According to the indictment, all of the defendants, except Ms. Palomares, are alleged to have conspired to manufacture and distribute more than 50 grams of actual methamphetamine between at least March 2006 and continuing until September 2006. Four of them – Domingo Tamayo, Jr., Javier Tamayo, Julio Palominos, and Richard Moreno – are alleged to have conspired to distribute pseudoephedrine, a precursor used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Domingo Tamayo, Jr., Javier Tamayo, Jose Campos, Julio Palominos, and Cristobol Tamayo are also alleged to have engaged in the distribution of more than 50 grams of actual methamphetamine. Carolina Palomares is charged with maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing, storing and processing marijuana.
All eight defendants were arraigned in the past two days on the charges by the Honorable Maria-Elena James and entered not guilty pleas. The defendants’ next scheduled appearance is before the Honorable Charles R. Breyer on Wednesday, March 28, 2006.
The maximum statutory penalties for the charges are as follows:
Sentences can be higher for individuals with prior felony drug convictions. Any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the United States Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
An indictment contains allegations against an individual and all defendants charged in the indictment must be presumed innocent unless and until they are convicted.
In addition to the individuals charged in yesterday’s enforcement action, at least twelve other individuals have previously been charged as result of Operation Emerald Web:
Timothy J. Lucey is the Assistant United States Attorney who is prosecuting the case in the Northern District of California, with the assistance of legal technicians Ana Guerra and Cherell Hallett.