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FBI serves multiple warrants in Salinas

SALINAS, Calif. - UPDATE 10/19/2017: A federal grand jury indicted five individuals for their respective roles in an alleged conspiracy to engage in a methamphetamine trafficking network, according to the FBI and DEA.

 A sixth defendant was named in the indictment and charged along with one of the conspirators with using a telephone to facilitate the sale of methamphetamine.  The indictment was unsealed.

The indictment alleges that between March 2017 and September 2017, the conspiracy involved an agreement to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.  In addition, some of the defendants were charged with related crimes, including possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine, distributing methamphetamine, and use of a communication facility to commit a felony drug offense. The precise charges against each defendant, as well as their ages and places of residence, are set out in the chart below. 

OSCAR GONZALEZ QUEVEDO, a/k/a “Oscar Quevedo Gonzalez,” a/k/a “El Oso,”

34/Mexicali, Mexico

Conspiracy to Possess With Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine

21 U.S.C. §§ 846

Distribution of 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine (3 counts)

21 U.S.C.

§§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(viii)

FRANCISCO PUGA CAMACHO, a/k/a “Francisco Puga Garcia,”

a/k/a/ “Frank Puga,”

48/Salinas, CA

Conspiracy to Possess With Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine

21 U.S.C. §§ 846

Possession With Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine

21 U.S.C.

§§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(iii)

Distribution of 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine (3 counts)

21 U.S.C.

§§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(viii)

Use of Communication Facility (Telephone) to Commit Felony Drug Offense

21 U.S.C. § 843(b)

HORACIO QUINTANA

22/Salinas, CA

Conspiracy to Possess With Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine

21 U.S.C. §§ 846

Possession With Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine

21 U.S.C.

§§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(viii)

Distribution of 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine (2 counts)

21 U.S.C.

§§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(viii)

JOEL QUINTANA MEDINA

25/Salinas, CA

Conspiracy to Possess With Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine

21 U.S.C. §§ 846

Distribution of 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine (2 counts)

21 U.S.C.

§§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(viii)

JESUS BERNAL NUNEZ, a/k/a “Animal,” a/k/a “Jesse James,”

33/Salinas, CA

Conspiracy to Possess With Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine

21 U.S.C. §§ 846

Distribution of 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine

21 U.S.C.

§§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(viii)

NESTOR TAVAREZ

50/Gonzalez, CA

Use of Communication Facility (Telephone) to Commit Felony Drug Offense

21 U.S.C. § 843(b)

The indictment was filed September 28, 2017, and describes four transactions in which two or more of the defendants are alleged to have possessed or distributed methamphetamine.  

Each of the following defendants was arrested and appeared in court on October 12, 2017:  Francisco Puga Camacho, Joel Quintana Medina, and Jesus Bernal Nunez Nestor Tavarez.   The coordinated arrests and searches took place in Salinas, Greenfield, Castroville, and Gonzalaz.  The defendants made their initial appearances before Magistrate Judge Nathanael M. Cousins on October 12, 2017.  Quevedo, remains a fugitive.

The case has been assigned to the Honorable Lucy H. Koh, United States District Judge, for Northern District of California.

In addition to the indictment, two criminal complaints were filed as a result of this investigation, and two additional defendants were arrested.  

Alejandro Dominguez Hernandez was charged by complaint with distribution of a controlled substance in violation of 21 USC§ 841 (a)(1), (b)(1)(B).  According to the affidavit supporting the complaint, Hernandez distributed approximately one pound of methamphetamine to a confidential source on October 5, 2017, in Salinas, California.  

Ernesto Calderon Ramirez was charged by complaint with distribution of a controlled substance in violation of 21 USC§ 841 (a)(1), (b)(1)(B).  According to the affidavit supporting the complaint, Ramirez attempted to dispose of quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine when agents executed a search warrant at a residence in Greenfield, California.

UPDATED 10/12/2017:

Federal law enforcement agents were in Monterey County on Thursday conducting search warrants at several locations. 

Agents were tight-lipped, only saying the operations were part of an ongoing law enforcement investigation.

KION crews observed agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the National Crime Insurance Bureau at Specialty Auto Body at the corner of Sanborn Place and Pellet Avenue in Salinas. 

"They blocked off the roads and there was a bunch of cop cars,” witness Johnna Rusconi said. “You couldn't really tell what was going on."

Neighbors identified the owner of the business as Meliquiades “Micky” Garibay and said he declined to speak with KION about what happened.

Friends said he was a good person who tries to help people. 

"He's a nice guy,” Rusconi said. “Always willing to help people in need. He's a productive member of society, he's been in business for several years, and I’ve never heard anything bad about him."

But Garibay does have a criminal past.

In 2011, Garibay and several others were busted for their roles in an insurance fraud ring and later served time in jail and had to pay restitution.

ORIGINAL POST:

The FBI has confirmed with KION multiple warrants were served this morning at a business on the corner of Pellet Ave and Sanborn Place.

Officials tell us several federal search warrants were served in Salinas Thursday morning pertaining to an ongoing FBI investigation.

As of now, they cannot provide any details of the case, including the number of search warrants.

We will update this story as details become available.


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