SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal grand jury returned five indictments today against six additional defendants arrested as part of last week’s multi-agency coordinated series of searches and arrests throughout Northern California, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
• Daisy Gonzalez, 32, of Termo in Lassen County, and Jose Trinidad Heredia Romero, a Mexican national, are charged with conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, the manufacture of marijuana, and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Gonzalez is also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.
• Asencion Jimenez, 38, of North Highlands, is charged with being a felon in possession of firearms.
• Stefanie Lavan, 65, Woodland, is charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
• John Lemus, 31, of Woodland, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm;
• Carlos Martinez, 38, of Woodland, is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and possession of a firearm during and in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense.
These new indictments arise from a multi-agency law enforcement investigation focused on Woodland, but which spread to multiple counties in Northern California and to two additional states. For more information, go to the website for the Eastern District of California.
If convicted, the defendants face statutory penalties of five to 40 years in prison for conspiracy to manufacture marijuana or the manufacture of marijuana and up to a $5 million fine; 10 years to life and up to a $10 million fine for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm; up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for possession of firearms during and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.
This case is brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), an initiative that brings together federal, state and local law enforcement to combat gun and gang crime. At the core of PSN is increased federal prosecution to incapacitate chronic violent offenders as well as to communicate a credible deterrent threat to potential gun offenders.
These cases, and others unveiled in six indictments last week, are the product of an investigation by the FBI, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Yolo County District Attorney, Woodland Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol. The following agencies provided substantial assistance: Colusa County Sheriff’s Office, Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, West Sacramento Police Department, Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, Davis Police Department, Yuba City Police Department, Yuba County Sheriff’s Office, Sutter County Sheriff’s Office, Solano County Sheriff’s Office, Vacaville Police Department, the Correctional Intelligence Task Force (CITF), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Assistant U.S. Attorneys Owen Roth and Justin L. Lee are prosecuting the cases.
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