May 07, 2014
Contact: Casey Rettig
Phone Number: (415) 436-7900
Multi-Agency Investigation In Merced Results In Arrests Of Methamphetamine Traffickers
FRESNO, Calif. - A three-month multi-agency law enforcement operation, “Operation Red Eye,” culminated today with the arrest of several methamphetamine traffickers and the search of more than 30 locations. According to court documents, six individuals are being charged federally with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and other controlled substances: Luis Tejeda-Hurtado, 24, of Merced; Raul Reyes-Recio, 44, of Merced; Roberto Alfonzo Gomez, 25, of Merced; Larry Duncan, 23, of Merced and Blytheville, Ark.; Charlotte Miller, of Blytheville, Ark.; and Alyncia Elliot, 22, of Merced, Calif. Many additional defendants were arrested on state charges.
According to federal court documents, Tejeda-Hurtado and Reyes-Recio are large-scale methamphetamine traffickers from whom agents seized approximately 30 pounds of methamphetamine in November 2013. Duncan is a methamphetamine customer of Tejeda-Hurtado and Roberto Gomez. In April 2014, a vehicle owned by Duncan and Gomez was towed as the result of a vehicle stop. They were unaware that two kilograms of methamphetamine inside the vehicle at the time had been discovered by law enforcement. Thereafter, Gomez, (Duncan’s girlfriend), and (Duncan’s mother) all have endeavored to gain access to the stored vehicle in order to retrieve the methamphetamine. In addition, Miller assisted Duncan in making a payment for the methamphetamine by providing Duncan’s money, stored in Blytheville, Ark., to other individuals who were to deposit it into the bank for the benefit of Tejeda-Hurtado. However, the approximately $13,100 in U.S. currency was seized by the Second Judicial District Task Force in Blytheville, Ark.
This case was the product of a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement (in Arkansas and Merced); the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Investigations; the Merced Multi-Agency Narcotic Task Force; and the Second Judicial Drug Task Force in Arkansas. Assistant United States Attorneys Kathleen A. Servatius and Melanie L. Alsworth are prosecuting the case.If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $4 million dollar fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.