Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

June 29, 2017

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7994

8 Indicted In Heroin, Methamphetamine Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

Includes head of this Bakersfield drug trafficking organization, Jose Luis Zambrano

FRESNO, Calif. - A federal grand jury in Fresno indicted eight defendants today for their participation in a methamphetamine and heroin distribution conspiracy. U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert and DEA San Francisco Special Agent-in-Charge John J. Martin made this announcement today.

The indictment charges Jose Luis Zambrano, 33; Juan Carlos Lopez, 28; Ruben Mojarro, 42; Adalberto Jacobo, 36; all of Bakersfield; Joel Melendez, aka Leonel Rodriguez, 33; Edgar Omar Rodriguez Parra, aka Jesus Burgos Luna, 36; and Alex Castro Portillo, 29, all Mexican nationals; and Manuel Teodoro Aros, 42, of Santa Maria; with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and heroin. Zambrano, Jacobo, Portillo, Parra, and Aros were also charged with other drug trafficking offenses, and Zambrano and Lopez were charged with firearm offenses.

According to court documents, Zambrano was the head of a drug trafficking organization that from March 1, 2016, through June 16, 2017, imported and distributed large amounts of methamphetamine and heroin to the Bakersfield area and other locations. In order to intimidate others, protect their narcotics and cash, and enforce drug debts, some members of the organization carried firearms and wore protective body armor.

On June 23, 2017, arrest and search warrants targeting the organization were executed and resulted in the seizure of narcotics. Zambrano, Lopez, Mojarro, Aros, and Jacobo, were arrested and remain in custody. Joel Melendez, Edgar Omar Rodriguez Parra, and Alex Castro Portillo are fugitives.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the California Highway Patrol, and the Bakersfield Police Department with assistance from Kern County Probation Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian K. Delaney is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, all defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 million 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 defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Photos of fugitives attached.  Do not attempt to apprehend these individuals.

Call the U.S. Marshals Service 24-hour number 1-877-(1-877-926-8332),
Tip line: usms.wanted@usdoj.gov, or the nearest DEA office with information.

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