U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Eastern District of Virginia
Eastern District of Virginia
For Immediate Release
December 1, 2011
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney
Eleven Men Arrested for Cocaine, Firearms Trafficking in Manassas, Fairfax County
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Eleven men were arrested yesterday as part of an ongoing, three-year investigation of interconnected cocaine and firearm distributors largely operating out of Manassas and Fairfax County, Va. To date, more than 60 individuals have been charged since the operation’s inception in 2009.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and William Hoover, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’s (ATF) Washington Field Division, made the announcement after the defendants were arrested and made their initial appearances in federal court.
According to court documents, the men are allegedly part of a trafficking ring that supplies large quantities of cocaine to street-level dealers. Members of the conspiracy are natives of several countries, most of whom are illegally present in the United States from Mexico. Many of the alleged members are part of or affiliated with street gangs, such as La Raza, SUR 13, and 18th Street. To date, the total amount of cocaine purchased or seized by law enforcement during this particular investigation is more than three kilograms. Law enforcement has also purchased or seized more than 20 firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition during this phase of the investigation.
The following were arrested as part of a coordinated takedown on Nov. 30, 2011:
- Jerry Lamberto Cardenas, a/k/a
Jerry,36, of Manassas Park, Va.
- Martin Morales Benavente, a/k/a
Chino,26, of Manassas Park, Va.
- Luis Antonio DeVincente Olguin, a/k/a
Antonio,22, of Manassas, Va.
- Bennedicto DeJesus Ramos Aguirre, a/k/a
Lito,25, of Manassas Park, Va.
- Juan Gabriel Rodriguez, 37, of Manassas, Va.
- Roberto Marin, a/k/a
Chino,36, of Manassas, Va.
- Rigoberto Lopez Lopez, a/k/a
Rigo,38, of Manassas, Va.
- Oscar Humberto Benitez-Escobar, a/k/a
Cholo,35, of Manassas, Va.
- Hugo Tavila Villegas, age and residence unknown at the time of arrest.
- Lamberto Garcia Cruz, 31, of Sterling, Va.
- Diego Fernando Giraldo Gavinia, 21, of Sterling, Va.
Nine of the defendants were charged with conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, which carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison. Rodriguez was charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, which carries a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of life in prison. Villegas was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.
The investigation, dubbed
Operation Bull Run, is being conducted by the ATF, Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office, Fairfax County Police Department, Prince William County Police Department, and Manassas Park Police Department. The U.S. Marshals Service, Manassas City Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Northern Virginia Gang Task Force assisted with the arrests. To date, more than 60 individuals have been charged since the operation’s inception in 2009.
Assistant United States Attorney Lisa Owings is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Criminal complaints are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.