SALT LAKE CITY—Twenty-five individuals have been charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in two federal indictments unsealed Friday afternoon. The arrests follow a significant investigation by the FBI, the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force, and ICE as a part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force in Utah. The investigation leading to this week’s indictments started in November 2009.
The defendants in the two cases were arrested by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies from Utah, Salt Lake, Summit, and Wasatch Counties working in collaboration with authorities in Idaho and California. The majority of the arrests were made Wednesday night after the grand jury returned the indictments. Warrants remain in place for a few of the defendants.
The first indictment alleges that beginning no later than April 14, 2010, and continuing through March 16, 2011, the defendants charged in the indictment conspired to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance.
Defendants charged in this indictment are:
Fredy Guadalupe Sauceda-Obeso, age 29, of Mexico
Rafael Quintero Lopez, age 50, of Fontana, Calif., arrested in California
Jaime Covarrubias Sauceda, age 25, of Heber City, ICE detainer
Jose Arturo Rubio Carillo, age 45, of San Bernardino, arrested in California
Melesio Flores-Quintero, age 28, of Heber City, ICE detainer
Jose Guadalupe Vargas-Esquivel, age 37, of American Fork, ICE detainer
Victor Manuel Hernandez, age 29, of Heber City, ICE detainer
Anthony Michael Moreno, age 28, of San Bernardino, arrested in California
Yuliana Meza, age 26, of American Fork
Erik Mauricio Meza, age 30, of Salt Lake City
Oscar Salgado Martinez, age 27, of West Valley City, ICE detainer
Jorge Tapia, age 43, of Heber City, ICE detainer
Crystal Moreno, age 30, of Pleasant Grove
Armando Lopez Fuentas, age 29, of Park City, ICE detainer
Roberto Rojas Torres, age 37, of Park City, ICE detainer
Jose Antonio Perez, age 34, of Logan, arrested in Idaho
Rocio Magallon, age unknown, of Orem
Ricardo Rodriguez, age 40, residence unknown, ICE detainer
FNU LNU, aka El Quattro, age and residence unknown
Cornelio Reina, age 52, of Heber City, citizenship unknown at this time
Sauceda-Obeso; Crystal Moreno; First Name Unknown Last Name Unknown (FNU LNU), aka El Quattro; and Cornelio Reina have not been arrested. Those charged in the indictment and arrested Wednesday night in Utah have had initial appearances on the charge. Many of the defendants in this indictment are being detained by immigration authorities. Detention hearings are scheduled for Tuesday for those defendants not subject an immigration hold. Hearings in Idaho and California will be held for defendants arrested there.
Charged in a second indictment, which alleges a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine that started no later than April 20, 2010, and continued through March 16, 2011, are:
Florentino Mondragon-Solorio, age 24, of Heber City, ICE detainer
Emily Jene Butler, 29, of Midvale
Laura Lillian Suarez, 26, of Heber City, ICE detainer
Roberto Dominguez-Romero, 27, of Mt. Vernon, Washington
Carlos Eduardo Rodriguez, 20, of Orem
Dominguez-Romero has not been arrested. Detention hearings will be held next week for Butler and Rodriquez.
The potential maximum penalty for a conviction of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine is up to life in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. Indictments are not findings of guilt. Individuals charged in indictments are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.
In a related case, Juan Manuel Maraville-Govea, age 26, of Orem is charged in a complaint filed Thursday with use of a communication facility to facilitate a conspiracy to distribute cocaine. The complaint alleges that Maraville-Govea was identified in an ongoing narcotics investigation involving the FBI and the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force. During February and March of 2011, Maraville-Govea was intercepted during several calls discussing the purchase of narcotics. He was arrested during a traffic stop Wednesday in Utah County. Maraville-Govea had an initial appearance in federal court Thursday and is being held on an ICE detainer. The potential maximum penalty for the charge is up to four years in prison.