Attorney General William P. Barr Announces Updates on Operation Legend at Press Conference in Milwaukee | USAO-EDWI

Charges Announced Against Twenty-Six Defendants Alleged to Operate a
Violent Drug Trafficking Organization in Milwaukee

 

At a press conference in Milwaukee today, Attorney General William P. Barr announced updates on Operation Legend.  He was joined by Matthew D. Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, who announced charges against 26 defendants who allegedly operated a violent drug trafficking organization in Milwaukee, with ties to the Northern and Central Districts of California.

Attorney General Barr explained that since Operation Legend’s launch in July 2020, more than 3,500 arrests—including approximately 200 for homicide—have been made; more than 1000 firearms have been seized; and nearly 19 kilos of heroin, more than 11 kilos of fentanyl (enough to deliver more than five million fatal doses), more than 94 kilos of methamphetamine, nearly 14 kilos of cocaine, and more than $6.5 million in drug proceeds have been seized.

Of the more than 3,500 individuals arrested, approximately 815 have been charged with federal offenses.  More than 440 of those defendants have been charged with firearms offenses, while more than 300 have been charged with drug-related crimes.  The remaining defendants have been charged with various offenses.

In Milwaukee, 47 defendants have been charged with federal crimes as part of Operation Legend:

 

–           24 defendants have been charged with narcotics-related offenses;

–           19 defendants have been charged with firearms-related offenses; and

–           4 defendants have been charged with other violent crimes.

 

As part of Operation Legend, U.S. Attorney Krueger further announced that in a criminal complaint unsealed today, 26 defendants have been charged with offenses related to a violent drug-trafficking organization that obtained multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine and marijuana from California for distribution in the Milwaukee area.  As alleged, after distributing the drugs in the Milwaukee area, certain defendants shipped drug proceeds through the U.S. Postal Service to co-conspirators in California.  Multiple defendants possessed and brandished firearms during the course of the drug trafficking conspiracy. 

Included among the defendants is Louis R. Perez III, also known as “Eight Ball,” who is alleged to be a Mexican Posse gang member and the current leader of the nationwide drug trafficking organization.  Several other Mexican Posse gang members have also been charged and arrested, including Manuel Soto and Antonio Rodriguez, who both allegedly distributed controlled substances in the Milwaukee area.  Two California-based defendants, Julian Sanchez and Miguel Sarabia, are alleged to have supplied the drugs for distribution from California.  

On September 22, 2020, federal, state, and local law enforcement officers executed arrest and search warrants related to this operation.  Twenty-one of the defendants are now in custody.  Law enforcement officers also executed over two dozen search warrants in Wisconsin and California, resulting in the recovery of at least 33 firearms, including a stolen Milwaukee Police Department firearm and a firearm with an obliterated serial number.  As part of the operation, law enforcement also recovered over 700 grams of heroin from one location, as well as additional heroin, cocaine, and marijuana from other locations.  Law enforcement also recovered approximately $170,000 in U.S. currency.

The following defendants are charged in the complaint:

 

Name

Age

Residence

Louis Rey PEREZ III

23

Milwaukee, WI

Xina YANG

22

Milwaukee, WI

Julian SANCHEZ

24

Costa Mesa, CA

Miguel SARABIA

45

Norwalk, CA

Gabriel MATTESON

22

La Mirada, CA

Louis Rey PEREZ, JR.

46

Milwaukee, WI

Manuel SOTO

28

Milwaukee, WI

Hauseng YANG

18

Milwaukee, WI

Antonio RODRIGUEZ

21

Milwaukee, WI

Hector ARENAS

27

Milwaukee, WI

Luis F. GOMEZ, JR.

19

Milwaukee, WI

Ivan J. GALAN

27

Milwaukee, WI

Jose A. ALVARADO

23

Milwaukee, WI

Esteban REYES

46

Milwaukee, WI

Kevin TAYLOR

28

Milwaukee, WI

Ma YANG

32

Milwaukee, WI

Mary YANG

29

Milwaukee, WI

Jasmine L. PEREZ

28

Milwaukee, WI

Michael BUB

33

Milwaukee, WI

Chong YANG

28

Milwaukee, WI

Michele M. HART

55

Milwaukee, WI

Mercedes HERBERT  GONZALEZ

29

Milwaukee, WI

Azia YANG

18

Milwaukee, WI

Carina RODRIGUEZ

20

Milwaukee, WI

Ger YANG

20

Milwaukee, WI

Shayla A. KNUEPPEL

24

Milwaukee, WI

 

“We know that drug trafficking fuels gun violence, as traffickers maintain arsenals to enlarge their territory, protect their inventory, and intimidate others,” said U.S. Attorney Krueger.  “That is why the Operation Legend strategy for Milwaukee includes joining federal, state, and local law enforcement resources to target violent drug traffickers.  I commend the excellent partnerships that led to today’s charges.” 

“The DEA is committed working with its local, state and federal law enforcement partners to keep the citizens of Milwaukee safe from drug trafficking and the violence that is always associated with it.  Today’s arrests show the resolve of law enforcement to work together in order to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals who profit from the national drug epidemic,” said DEA Milwaukee District Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge Paul E. Maxwell, Jr. 

All defendants are charged in a conspiracy to distribute at least 5 kilograms of cocaine or 1000 kilograms of marijuana.  If convicted, the defendants face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and up to life in prison.  Certain defendants are also charged in a conspiracy to launder money.  The penalties for that offense include up to 20 years in prison.  Certain defendants are charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.  If convicted of those firearms charges, the defendants face a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and up to life in prison. 

The defendants were charged based on a long-term investigation led by law enforcement agents and officers from the North Central High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office, the Milwaukee Police Department, and the Greenfield Police Department.  Law enforcement resources allocated by Operation Legend contributed to the investigation and today’s enforcement operation.  Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Monfils and Assistant United States Attorney Gail Hoffman are prosecuting the case.

The public is cautioned that a criminal complaint is merely a charge and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 

  # #  #

 

For Additional Information Contact:

Public Information Officer Kenneth Gales 414-297-1700

 

Follow us on Twitter

Source link

Author: Editor
Website is owned by STL.News, LLC. However, website is hosted, designed and maintained by WebTech Group, a web host, and design agency based in St. Louis, Missouri. USDOJ.Today focuses on aggregating content from the US Attorney's Offices around the country. STL.News uses this content to publish national news at www.STL.News.