Riverside, CA…Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arraignment of four men who attempted to sell 25 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of more than $1.1 million to an undercover task force agent. The narcotics are believed to have been imported from the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico.
“Transnational gangs are a real and present danger in California and a priority for Department of Justice agents,” said Attorney General Kamala D. Harris. “We must continue and extend our crackdown on these transnational gangs and their trafficking of guns, drugs and human beings throughout our state.”
Juan Martin Ramirez, 22, of Inglewood, Carlos Javier Martinez-Sequeira, 43, and Jose Manuel Chaidez, 25, of Hawthorne, and Jesus Manuel Landeros, 42, of Phoenix, Arizona were arraigned today in Riverside County Superior Court on two felony counts of possession of methamphetamine for sale and transportation of a controlled substance. All four defendants pled not guilty, and bail was set for each at $1 million.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office will prosecute the case because the defendants were arrested in the City of Corona, where they allegedly sold methamphetamine to an undercover agent. The investigation was conducted by the Attorney General’s Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force (INCA).
On September 12, 2012, an INCA undercover agent negotiated the purchase of 25 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of $1,135,000 from a transnational gang. The four men delivered the methamphetamine to the awaiting undercover officer in a hotel parking lot in Corona. All four men were arrested without incident and booked into the Riverside County Jaill.
These arrests are the latest in a series of successful DOJ-led investigations targeting transnational gang crime across California. In October, DOJ agents seized $5 million worth of cocaine from the Guadalajara cartel (http://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-kamala-d-harris-announces-seizure-5-million-worth-cocaine). In November 2011, the INCA Task Force seized $18 million worth of cocaine from the Sinaloa cartel (http://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-kamala-d-harris-announces-seizure-18-million-worth-cocaine).
In responding to transnational gang crime in California, the state Department of Justice provides a wide range of investigative skills and forensic resources. INCA is one of 28 Department of Justice-led task forces that works with local enforcement partners to respond to our state’s growing gang and drug trafficking problems.
The Attorney General’s INCA Task Force is comprised of: the Beaumont Police Department, the California Department of Justice/Bureau of Investigation, the Calexico Police Department, the California Alcoholic Beverage Control, the California Highway Patrol, the Corona Police Department, the San Bernardino Police Department, the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, the Riverside Police Department, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and the Murrieta Police Department.