RIVERSIDE, California– Four individuals associated with the Eastside Riva gang – including its leader, Ernie “Gordo” Hernandez, 55 – were arrested yesterday after being charged earlier this week in federal court with distribution of methamphetamine.
The other defendants arrested– Angel “Bundy” Hernandez, 34, who is the son of Ernie Hernandez; Gilberto Diaz, 30; and Bryan Deniz, 25 – are also named in a criminal complaint that alleges they distributed methamphetamine from July 20 through August 9. Several of the drug transactions discussed in the complaint affidavit occurred at Primestone Tires Auto Repair on 14th Street in Riverside.
“Criminal street gangs like Eastside Rivera bring violence and drugs into our communities,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “As yesterday's arrests demonstrate, law enforcement will continue to prosecute gang leaders and members to make our neighborhoods safer.”
The case against the four defendants is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Los Angeles Division.
“Criminal street gangs that claim its territory and attempt to traffic drugs and use firearms to bring violence into our communities for their profit will not be tolerated,” said ATF Los Angeles Special Agent in Charge Eric Harden. “ATF has zero tolerance for this criminal activity and will continue to eradicate it from our communities.”
Yesterday's arrests stem from an investigation targeting violent activity in and around the Riverside area, where the Eastside Riva gang claims territory. The criminal complaint filed by the United States Attorney's Office on Wednesday alleges that the defendants engaged in two transactions each involving approximately one pound of methamphetamine and another transaction involving about one-half pound of the drug.
The four defendants arrested appeared in federal court yesterday afternoon in Riverside. The defendants remain in custody and are set for arraignment in Los Angeles on September 29, 2016 at 1 PM PDT.
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
If they are convicted of the drug trafficking offense alleged in the indictment, Ernie Hernandez, Deniz and Diaz would each face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a sentence of up to life. If convicted, Angel Hernanez would face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a sentence of up to 40 years in federal prison.
The Riverside Police Department and Los Angeles Police Department were both instrumental in the Eastside Riva investigation.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Reema El-Amamy.
USAO – California, Central Updated August 26, 2016
Central District of California DOJ / 16-200 / August 26, 2016