FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned two indictments Thursday arising from a single investigation into a drug trafficking organization operating in California and trafficking drugs to Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, and Washington, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced today.
The grand jury charged Fresno residents Jesus Gonzalez-Burgos, 36, Gabriel Gomez-Nunez, 36, and Jose Rubalcalva Gutierrez Jr., 34, with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl.
The grand jury also charged the following defendants with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl: Juan Alejandro Comparan-Guzman, 34, of Kerman; Quintin Jeuh Carlos-Bañuelos, 25, of Palo Alto; Hector Gomez, 27, of Omaha, Nebraska; Francisco Ramírez, 20, of Fresno; Lorena Ramírez, 36, of Fresno; Christina Maria Nino, 57, of Fresno; Anna Concepcion Jimenez-Ambriz, 21, of Fresno; Rafael Zaragoza, 28, of Fresno; Carol Maldonaldo Vasquez, 32, of Corcoran; and Rita Ann-Marie Louis, 29, of Carnation, Washington.
According to court documents, the nine-month investigation revealed these individuals were involved in trafficking methamphetamine, fentanyl-laced counterfeit OxyContin pills, and heroin between California and Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, and Washington. Law enforcement seized approximately 34,144 pills of counterfeit OxyContin pills containing fentanyl, 7 pounds of cocaine, 2 pounds of heroin, 137 pounds of methamphetamine, and $142,000 during the course of the investigation.
This case is the product of an investigation by the High Impact Investigation Team (HIIT), a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Initiative (HIDTA), composed of personnel from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, California Department of Justice -Fresno Regional Office, Homeland Security Investigations, the Fresno Police Department, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, Kings County Sheriff’s Office, Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, and the California Highway Patrol. HIIT conducts major narcotic and other major criminal investigations in the counties of the California Central Valley. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen A. Servatius is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, all defendants face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and up to life in prison and a fine of up to $10 million. 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.