In Los Angeles, California, in the second phase of Operation Supernova, an investigation into Ventura County’s largest street gang, three gang members have been arrested on federal drug distribution and firearms trafficking charges.
These arrests followed an undercover operation in Camarillo, where a Colonia Chiques street gang member was in possession of 10 pounds of methamphetamine and four kilograms of cocaine, that he had agreed to sell to undercover police for $200,000. Luis Tapia, who is a leader of the Colonia Chiques, is accused in a federal criminal complaint of engaging in a series of transactions that involve narcotics and weapons, including a fully automatic assault rifle.
These arrests are the result of an investigation into the Colonia Chiques, which was formed in the 1970s, has more than 1,000 documented members, and has strong ties to the Mexican Mafia prison gang. In the first part of Operation Supernova, federal prosecutors have convicted 11 defendants who have received sentences of up to 25 years in prison.
In this most recent unsealed federal criminal complaint, four gang members are charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to sell firearms without a dealer license. The defendants named in the federal complaint are:
- Luis Tapia, a Mexican Mafia associate, who is to be principally responsible for the narcotics and firearms transactions
- Diana Zamora, an associate of the Colonia Chiques gang, who was arrested at the site of the methamphetamine deal and of assisting Tapia with firearms and narcotics transactions
- Edgar Aguilar, a Colonia Chiques member, was arrested at his home in Oxnard, and who in possession of one pound of methamphetamine he obtained from Tapia’s stash house
- Roger Armendariz, a Colonia Chiques member who is currently in state custody and who sold guns to undercover operatives and assisted in Tapia’s narcotics transactions
According to the federal affidavit, this transaction followed a September meeting in Las Vegas in which an FBI agent posed as a narcotics trafficker and negotiated the methamphetamine and cocaine deal with Tapia. The affidavit also describes numerous incidents over the past seven months, including a June traffic stop in which Zamora was driving Tapia’s car that had contraband in a hidden compartment, including 2 pounds of heroin, 9 ounces of cocaine, 9 ounces of methamphetamine, cash and two loaded firearms.
The gang members named in the complaint face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in federal prison and statutory maximum sentences of life in prison if they are convicted. This investigation was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Oxnard Police Department.
If you are facing federal drug trafficking or firearms trafficking criminal charges in Los Angeles, or anywhere in the state of California, you will need a federal crime defense lawyer who has experience dealing with these type of charges.
At the Law Offices of Cron, Israels & Stark, our Los Angeles drug trafficking lawyers have decades of experience in dealing with federal crimes. We know how federal prosecutors will attempt to build their vase against you.
We handle any type of federal crime cases including drug crimes, weapons offenses, white collar crimes, among many others. Do not take these charges lightly. If you are convicted, you could face incarceration for many years. Just call our office today to speak with one of our skilled federal drug trafficking lawyers. All consultations are free and strictly confidential.