Alleged Methamphetamine Traffickers from the Gerardo Gamboa, or “Tio” Drug-Trafficking Organization Rounded up in Fort Smith Area

Posted: June 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

FORT SMITH, AR (News Release) – A major operation targeting alleged drug traffickers has picked up 23 individuals in the Fort Smith area.

They’ve been charged with drug-trafficking offenses as part of an investigation into the Gamboa drug-trafficking organization, according to federal officials.

The defendants were charged in indictments returned by a federal grand jury on June 4. The indictments detail various crimes that took place from November 2012 to May 2013, including conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, use of a cell phone to facilitate a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, and unlawful reentry by an illegal alien.

“This office remains committed to the elimination of drug-trafficking organizations operating in and around the Western District of Arkansas. These charges are the result of an impressive investigation involving several federal and state agencies and organizations. I applaud their efforts in helping to make the communities of the Western District and surrounding areas safer, and we will continue the effort to ensure all defendants are brought to justice,” said Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.

Beginning in August of 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration Duty Task Force Group began an investigation of the Gerardo Gamboa, aka “Tio,” Drug-Trafficking Organization (“DTO”). Gerardo Gamboa was the head of this DTO and was bringing in and selling pound quantities of methamphetamine in the River Valley area. Gamboa would distribute or sell quantities of methamphetamine to drug dealers who would then distribute smaller quantities of methamphetamine to lower-level drug dealers in the DTO or to methamphetamine users. Law enforcement made controlled purchases of methamphetamine from several members at various levels of the DTO. Law enforcement executed search warrants at several locations around the River Valley. The investigation led to the prosecution of 23 individuals involved in this DTO.

“Methamphetamine continues to be the major drug threat in Arkansas. All the federal, state, and local agencies are committed as one to disrupt and dismantle these major multi-state drug-trafficking organizations distributing multi-pound quantities of methamphetamine ice into Arkansas. This investigation resulted in the seizure of large quantities of methamphetamine that never made it to the streets of our community,” stated William J. Bryant, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock District Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration

The investigation into the Gamboa drug-trafficking organization grew out of a larger investigation known as “Operation Shaw-Crank Redemption.” This investigation has been ongoing for two years and has involved the use of a wide variety of approaches by law-enforcement to disrupt, dismantle, and prosecute drug trafficking in the Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Arkansas River Valley area. Numerous controlled buys, surveillance, search warrants, and monitoring have been used during the course of the investigation. Due to its impact on multiple states, this investigation was designated an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) investigation. The investigation has resulted in a total of 49 arrests and prosecutions, including the defendants charged as part of the Gamboa organization. Additionally, the two-year investigation has resulted in the seizure of 22 pounds of methamphetamine, 10 firearms, $5,000 in currency, and four cars and two motorcycles valued at $25,000.

  “This is an excellent example of local and federal law enforcement working well and partnering together in an effort to make Sebastian County a safer place to raise our families,” said Bill Hollenbeck, Sebastian County Sheriff.”This particular case has had wide ranging effects on the trafficking of methamphetamine especially considering number of persons who were indicted and the fact that the activity occurred over at least four states (AR, TX, MO, CA). Once again, the value of local law enforcement’s partnerships with federal law enforcement officers demonstrates our collective impact in the war on drugs,” Kevin Lindsey, Fort Smith Police Department Chief of Police said.

“Drug cases do not stop at city limits, state borders, or country borders, so when local police departments work with federal agencies our efforts are more intensified and directed. This case is a good example of what we can accomplish when we work together,” said Kenneth Bell, Van Buren Police Department Chief of Police.

For each count in the indictment, defendants face the following maximum penalties:
(1) conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine–20 years in prison and a $1 million fine or 30 years in prison and a $2 million fine if the defendant has previously been convicted of a felony
(2) distribution of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine–life in prison and a $10 million fine or life in prison and up to a $20 million fine if the defendant has previously been convicted of a felony; (3) distribution of more than 50 grams of a methamphetamine mixture–40 years in prison and a $5 million fine or life in prison and a $8 million fine if the defendant has previously been convicted of a felony
(4) distribution of methamphetamine–20 years in prison and a $1 million fine or thirty years in prison and a $2 million fine if the defendant has previously been convicted of a felony
(5) possession with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine–life in prison and a $10 million fine or life in prison and a $20 million fine if the defendant has previously been convicted of a felony
(6) use of a cell phone to commit the conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine–four years in prison and a $250,000 fine or eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine if the defendant has previously been convicted of a felony
(7) unlawful reentry by a removed alien–two years in prison and a $250,000 fine or 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if the defendant has previously been convicted of a felony.

 

 

 

http://arkansasmatters.com/fulltext?nxd_id=670912

 

 

 

Twenty-three people have been indicted in a drug-trafficking investigation involving methamphetamine and conspiracy charges, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge.

The investigation of the Gerardo Gamboa, or “Tio” drug-trafficking organization was part of a larger investigation titled Operation Shaw-Crank Redemption, the news release stated. The organization was trafficking pounds of methamphetamine in the River Valley area and was active in Arkansas, Texas, Missouri and California, according to the news release.

The indictments are:

  • Gerardo Gamboa, 36, Fort Smith: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; 2 counts distribution more than 50 grams methamphetamine; 2 counts of Distribution of more than 50 grams of a mixture or substance that contained methamphetamine.
  • Miguel Gonzalez, 21, Fort Smith: 1 count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine;3 counts of Using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Miguel Soto, 21, Fort Smith: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; Using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Ana Esparza, 30, Fort Smith: 1 count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; 2 counts of using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Maria Terresa Hernandez, 41, Fort Smith: One count of Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
  • Jessica Sparks, 28, Keota, Okla.: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; 3 counts using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Huy Tran, 34, Fort Smith: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; 2 counts distribution of methamphetamine; 2 counts using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Abraham Jaimes, 28, Fort Smith: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; 2 counts of Using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Curtis Atkins, 48, Spiro, Okla.: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; 2 counts of Using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Michael Rouell, 37, Muskogee Okla.: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; 4 counts of using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Sabrina Shepard, 24, Fort Smith: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; 2 counts using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Wesley Sylva, 47, Fort Smith: One count of Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; 2 counts of Using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Salvador Guerrorro-Lopez, 30, Los Angeles: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; Possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of a mixture or a substance that contained methamphetamine.
  • Alejandro Guerrero-Lopez, 36, Los Angeles: Illegal re-rentry by a removed alien.
  • Gary Alber, 47, Fort Smith: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; 2 counts of Using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Cassie Buckner, 37, Fort Smith: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; Using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Vincente Eluid Flores, 25: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; 2 counts using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Jacqueline Johnson, 49, Fort Smith: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
  • Leslie Margaret Kaelin, 33, Fort Smith: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; 2 counts of Using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Phillip Knox, 46, Fort Smith: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; 2 counts of Using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Jaime Ramos, 26, Alma: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; Using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug
  • offense.
  • Brian Steele, 33, Spiro: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; 3 counts of Using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.
  • Alisa Woodall, 44: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; 2 counts using a communication facility to commit, cause or facilitate a felony drug offense.

 

 

 

 

http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2013/jun/11/23-indicted-river-valley-meth-investigation/?latest

 

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