From Denny Walsh:
Federal and local authorities said Thursday they have broken the backs of three dope peddling organizations with five grand jury indictments naming 33 people in the distribution of methamphetamine, ecstasy and marijuana throughout the Central Valley, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Alaska.
"This string of indictments strikes a serious blow to major methamphetamine trafficking in the Sacramento region and beyond," said U. S. Attorney McGregor Scott.
Investigators seized more than four pounds of methamphetamines, 13,000 ecstasy pills, 1,350 marijuana plants, more than $75,000 in cash, body armor and 11 firearms, including a Tech-9 machine pistol.
The amount of meth and number of pot plants hikes the maximum sentence upon conviction to life without parole and a 10-year mandatory minimum.
The charges culminate an extensive investigation by the Sacramento High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, a specialized and federally-funded team comprised of Sacramento County sheriff's deputies, agents from the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Sacramento and Folsom police officers, and Sacramento County Probation Department agents.
The task force worked the cases with the assistance of meth enforcement, gang suppression and SWAT units from the Sheriff's Department, and drug investigators in Milwaukee, Anchorage, Illinois, and the counties of Yuba, Sutter, Nevada and Placer.
"This operation was an excellent example of how the use of narcotics task forces and inter-agency cooperation can be an effective tool in taking down major drug rings," said Sacramento County Sheriff's Capt. Elizabeth Kelly.
Charged in the five indictments are 18 people from Sacramento: Jorge Reyes, 29; Adam Reyes, 37; Juan Alvarez, 30; David Navarro, 37; Majeid Bajmanlo, 28; Steven Lopez, 37; Juan Rizo, 29; Thomas Garcia, 33; Sarah Lancaster, 29; Ashley Rymer, 23; Victor Ceja, 22; Khamsou Sida, 30; Keoudone Phaouthoum, 36; Koutkeo Thi, 32; Zi Lei, 38; De Yang, 24; Komalla Xayadeth, 36, and Loretta Canham, 45.
Five people from Elk Grove are charged: Ruben Olsen, 30; John Li, 36; Son Nguyen, 38; Thanh Nguyen, 33, and Ting Thavisak, 35.
Also charged are Bounthavee Nerasin, 43; Pamouane Pan Phonephackdy, 33; and Vy You, 31, from Michigan; David Forkner, 38; and Steven Talbot, 47, from Nevada County; Juan Abarca-Catalan, 40; and Tuy Nguyen, 23, from Vallejo; Philip Garcia, 29, from West Sacramento; Michael Joseph, 30, from Marysville, and Joshua Like, 20, from Anchorage.