LOS ANGELES – Federal and local law enforcement authorities today took into custody seven defendants linked to a drug-distribution ring that operated out of Van Nuys and used a fleet of cars and a staff of drivers to make rapid deliveries – primarily of heroin – in response to phone orders.
Today's arrests follow the filing of three indictments returned yesterday afternoon by a federal grand jury. The main indictment, which charges 14 defendants, outlines the operations of “Manny's Delivery Service,” a telephone order narcotics-delivery service that allegedly sold heroin and cocaine, often supplying to customers who were directed to meet delivery drivers at locations across the San Fernando Valley.
While the delivery service sold small user-quantities to customers who phoned in orders, the conspiracy allegedly sold larger quantities as part of its sophisticated, high-volume narcotics business. The indictment discusses managers who obtained narcotics, delivery vehicles with hidden compartments and the movement of bulk cash collected from narcotics transactions.
In relation to the alleged conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, the indictment outlines activities over a two-month period that began in late August. During this period, members of the drug ring obtained multi-kilogram quantities of heroin and moved hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, according to wiretapped conversations outlined in the indictment. Bulk narcotics were stored in a “stash house,” and smaller quantities of drugs were packaged and dispatched to customers from a facility maintained by the ring in Van Nuys.
During today's enforcement operations, law enforcement authorities seized approximately 14 pounds of heroin, more than one pound of cocaine and a significant amount of cash.
The main indictment charges 14 defendants who played various roles in the Manny's Delivery Service. The defendants, many of whom have aliases, are:
· Sigifredo Gurrola Barrientos, 40, of Sylmar, the alleged manager of the drug trafficking operation who oversaw the movement of narcotics and the operation's fleet of delivery vehicles (arrested today);
· Adrian Munoz-Garcia, 24, of Buena Park, who is described in the indictment as Barrientos' right-hand man (arrested today);
· Juan Carlos Bonilla, 21, of Phoenix, Arizona, who allegedly took customers' orders and helped coordinate deliveries (currently a fugitive);
· Eduardo Daniel Ramirez-Hernandez, 26, of Van Nuys, who also allegedly took customers' orders and arranged for deliveries (arrested today);
· Joel Cortes-Solano, 26, of Anaheim, who allegedly was a dispatcher, delivered drugs and collected proceeds from other delivery drivers (currently a fugitive);
· A currently unidentified man known only as “Gangster,” who allegedly also worked as a dispatcher;
· Jacqueline De La Rosa, 24, of Pacoima, who allegedly purchased wholesale quantities of narcotics and stored them at her residence, as well as transported large sums of narcotics proceeds (arrested today);
· A man charged in the indictment under the moniker “Lineas” who was taken into custody today and identified as Gerardo Aguilar-Castillo, 27, of Orange;
· Alexander Abraham Talamantes Garcia, 40, of Anaheim, who allegedly provided narcotics to and collected funds from delivery drivers (currently a fugitive);
· Manuel Ruelas, 21, of Phoenix, Arizona, who allegedly provided narcotics to and collected funds from delivery drivers (who is currently in state custody and is expected to be turned over to federal authorities soon);
· Alan Pineda, 23, of Santa Ana, who allegedly was a delivery driver (currently a fugitive);
· Arnold Pineda, 20, of Santa Ana, who allegedly was a delivery driver (currently a fugitive);
· Christian Elias, 21, of Santa Ana, another alleged delivery driver (currently a fugitive); and
· Anthony Salvador Magallon, 19, of Santa Ana, who allegedly was a delivery driver (currently a fugitive).
Two additional indictments returned yesterday by the grand jury name individual defendants who allegedly purchased larger quantities of drugs from Manny's Delivery Service. These defendants are charged with various narcotics distribution offenses that allegedly took place in Ventura County. They are:
· Douglas Von Brunner, 33, of Ventura, who is charged with possession with the intent to distribute nearly one pound of heroin and possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl (who was in state custody and was turned over to federal official today); and
· Christopher Daniel Rumsey, 31, of Newbury Park, who allegedly distributed heroin (arrested today).
The seven defendants taken into custody today are expected to be arraigned tomorrow morning in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles. Authorities are continuing to search for the eight fugitives.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
The main indictment charges the 14 defendants in a conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, controlled substances. If they were to be convicted of that offense, each defendant would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a potential sentence of life without parole.
The investigation into “Manny's Delivery Service” was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Ventura County Narcotics Task Force. The Los Angeles Police Department and the Glendale Police Department provided substantial assistance during today's operations.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher C. Kendall and A. Carley Palmer of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
Component(s): USAO – California, Central
Contact: Thom Mrozek Spokesperson/Public Affairs Officer United States Attorney's Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) 213-894-6947
Press Release Number: 17-220 Updated December 13, 2017
Central District of California DOJ / 17-220 / December 13, 2017