For Immediate Release
Several Local Residents in Custody in Operation City Shield
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A total of 12 Corpus Christi men are now in custody following enforcement actions resulting from Operation City Shield, a joint venture to identify violent offenders, stop gun violence and protect the community, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
Each defendant has been charged in separate and unrelated indictments for federal firearms and/or narcotics violations.
A federal grand jury charged Adam Flores, 36, Joe Parker, 30, Justin Moreno, 27, Jessie Zuniga, 36, Cruz Gonzalez, 29, Fred Corona, 24, Akeem Olajuwon Edwards, 30, Gavino Flores, 24, and Adam Rodriguez, 35, for being felons in possession of firearms and ammunition.
In a separate indictment, Andrew Hernandez, 34, is charged with knowingly and intentionally possessing with intent to distribute a synthetic cannabinoid mixture and a substance containing a detectable amount of a schedule I controlled substance analogue. Hernandez is also charged with using a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Zuniga, Parker, Andrew Hernandez, Moreno, Adam Flores and Corona were taken into custody yesterday and made their initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jason Libby. At that time, they were ordered temporarily into custody pending detention hearings set for Friday, Dec.. 8, at 9:00 a.m. Edwards, Gavino Flores, Rodriguez and Gonzalez had already been in custody and are expected in federal court on the new charges in the near future.
Both Cody Hernandez, 27, and Timothy Allen, 38, were indicted previously for being felons in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Allen was also charged with possessing with intent distribute methamphetamine. Allen has already pleaded guilty to both of his charges and is pending sentencing in January 2018. Cody Hernandez’s case is still pending.
The felon in possession of firearms charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. Those charged with possession with intent to distribute controlled substances face up to 20 years of imprisonment and a possible $1 million maximum fine. Hernandez and Allen further face up to five years in prison for using a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime which must be served consecutively to any other prison term imposed.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Corpus Christi Police Department; Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Marshals Service and Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Watt is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.