19 People Charged in Drug Trafficking Scheme

19 People Charged in Drug Trafficking Scheme

(RepublicanPress.org) – In an announcement from the Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding nearly 200 drug trafficking arrests, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said “tens of thousands of Americans die” annually from drugs brought into US communities. The DOJ made another similar announcement just days after Attorney General Merrick Garland told the public about charging these individuals from 10 different states in a short time span.

On January 30, the department stated that 10 people were arrested for allegedly participating in an organized crime syndicate and conspiring to move a large amount of cocaine and other illegal substances from Mexico to Los Angeles en route to Canada and other places within the United States. Two more defendants were already in custody, leaving seven at large (including three Mexicans) for a total of 19 charged.

The announcement stated the action resulted from the Operation Dead Hand investigation, which produced two federal grand jury indictments against the group. The department stated the individuals included Mexico-based suppliers who transported the narcotics into the US, the American distributors themselves, a Canadian organizing exports, a Canadian truck driver operating in the US, a Canadian trafficker, and Robert Scoppa — an Italian organized crime figurehead. Monaco said the arrests showed a close coordination between agents, prosecutors, Mexico, Canada, and the US.

The first indictment against 10 of the defendants was for 18 criminal counts surrounding conspiracy, drug charges, trafficking, and an ammunition crime. They spanned Mexico, Canada, California, and Texas. The second indictment against the remaining nine defendants was on 23 criminal counts centered around drugs, trafficking, and conspiracy as well. Those suspects were from Canada, California, and Florida.

If convicted, each perpetrator could serve anywhere from 40 years up to life in prison. Guramrit Sidhu, the apparent King and orchestrator, faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years behind bars. Jesus Ruiz Sandoval Jr. and Eduardo Carvajal — both large-scale traffickers — also face mandatory minimums of 15 years a piece.

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