FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

DrugTest 5000 - Draeger Safety Diagnostics Inc
In the past, roadside drug screening has been difficult because it involved the...

Security Policy and the Cloud

Ask The Expert

Mark Rivera

FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer

Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.

No upcoming webinars scheduled

Top News

Massive Nuestra Familia Group Dismantled in California

July 18, 2007  | 

United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment in Sacramento against more than 25 people, charging them with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy, two counts of distribution of methamphetamine, one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

A related indictment was returned on June 7 by a federal grand jury sitting in Fresno charging seven people from Bakersfield and Fontana in Southern California with one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana, seven counts of distribution of methamphetamine, two counts of distribution of cocaine, one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

The two indictments are the product of an intensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Stockton Violent Crime Task Force, the San Joaquin County Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force (METRO), the Stockton Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Bakersfield into the activities of two separate drug trafficking organizations which aligned together to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy.

The FBI investigation dubbed "Operation Valley Star" focused on the Mario Diaz Drug Trafficking Organization (Diaz DTO), which was responsible for distributing large amounts of illegal narcotics, including methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy throughout the Eastern and Northern Districts of California, with supply lines from Mexico and distribution channels reaching to other United States cities, including Warren, Ohio, and Atlanta, Georgia. The Diaz DTO operates under the umbrella of the Nuestra Familia (NF), a violent Hispanic prison gang based within the California prison system whose members exert control over street-level Norteño gang members engaged in drug trafficking and violent crime. Diaz, who was among those charged in Northern California, operated an urban clothing store in Los Banos, California, called Geez Clothing.

The DEA investigation dubbed "Operation Dictator" focused on the activities of Fidel Ramon Castro, a convicted drug trafficker, who also operated an urban clothing store called Geez Clothing in Bakersfield. According to the court record, Castro and his associates obtained cocaine smuggled into Southern California from Mexico and then sold it to drug trafficking organizations, including the Diaz DTO. In addition, it is alleged that Castro was also involved in the distribution of methamphetamine, marijuana, and ecstasy.

The DEA was assisted in its investigation by agents and officers of the Riverside DEA, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Bakersfield Police Department, Kern County Sheriff's Department, Southern Tri-County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), and Rialto Police Department.

According to U.S. Attorney Scott, as a result of the collaborative law enforcement effort, agents arrested a total of 39 individuals and executed 28 federal search warrants in the Central Valley, San Francisco, and Monterey Bay Areas, and Southern California. FBI seizures from Operation Valley Star included 148 pounds of methamphetamine, 17 kilograms of cocaine, 60 marijuana plants in an indoor grow operation discovered in Stockton, 13 firearms, approximately $81,000 in cash,  a 2006 Chrysler 300M with an estimated value of $19,000, and a 2006 745 BMW with an estimated value of $30,000. In addition to drugs, DEA seizures from Operation Dictator included approximately $50,000 in cash, three vehicles, one uzi, and one bulletproof vest.

Drew Parenti, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Sacramento, said "The success of Operation Valley Star is an example of the significant accomplishments that can occur when agencies from the federal, state, and local level combine resources and manpower to combat critical crime issues in their territory. This investigation has struck a significant blow to Nuestra Familia, a violent prison gang that directs the criminal activities of Norteño street gang members in Northern California."

According to Assistant United States Attorneys Jason Hitt and Karen A. Escobar, who are prosecuting the cases, if convicted of the conspiracy charges, the defendants in each case face a minimum prison sentence of 10 years, a maximum term of life, and a fine of $4,000,000. However, because Diaz, Amaro, Killinger, Ocampo, Stewart Hanson, Gauna, Cadena, Caracheo, and Castro have prior felony drug convictions, they are each facing a mandatory minimum prison term of 20 years, a maximum term of life, and a fine of $8,000,000.

Request more info about this product / service / company

Be the first to comment on this story

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

California Sheriff's Department Expands Facial Recognition Program to 500 Officers
Vigilant Solutions announced today that the Sacramento County (CA) Sheriff's Department is...
OPS Public Safety Introduces FIU Combo Radio Drawer Unit
Keeping your radio equipment from overheating is very important. The new vented FIU Combo...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Zip Code:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine