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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Middle District of Florida

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, February 08, 2012, 2012

Robert E. O’Neill, United States Attorney

Contact: William Daniels
(813) 274-6388

More Than 3 Tons of Marijuana, More Than 90 Firearms and Nearly $1 Million Seized in Multi-District Sting

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces the arrests yesterday of Jaime Rodriguez Sandoval (41), Ivan Alvarado (31), Josue Rivera Rosario (26), Jesus Gonzalez-Salcedo (37), Antonio Gonzalez (51), Jose Luis Franco-Gonzalez (35), Cesar Ramos (36), and Omar Martinez (37). Each is charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.

If convicted, they each face a minimum penalty of 10 years, up to life in federal prison.

According to the criminal complaint, these individuals were involved in a conspiracy that caused thousands of pounds of marijuana to be transported from McAllen, Texas to Northern and Central Florida. The members of this drug-trafficking organization allegedly coordinated the transportation of the narcotics from Texas to Florida for the Gulf Cartel in Mexico.

As a part of this investigation, search warrants were executed in the Middle District of Florida, the Northern District of Florida and the Southern District of Texas. More than 6,000 pounds of marijuana, more than 90 firearms, and approximately $989,891 was recovered in Florida alone, as part of this joint investigative effort.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Apopka Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel Irick and Christopher LaForgia.