DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of California

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Benjamin B. Wagner
, United States Attorney
Contact: Lauren Horwood

Stockton Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Drug and Gun Charges

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Erik Moreno, 19, of Stockton, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton to 10 years in prison for distributing methamphetamine in a case resulting from the Operation Gideon IV investigation, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

Operation Gideon IV was an ATF surge that targeted violent criminals in an effort to dismantle criminal organizations operating in Stockton. Experienced undercover ATF special agents from throughout the U.S. were deployed with local ATF agents and Stockton police officers to conduct covert investigations into some of the most violent criminals in Stockton and surrounding areas. Operation Gideon IV ran from January to April 19, 2013, charging 55 individuals and seizing 84 firearms.

“This lengthy prison sentence will remove a dangerous criminal who has plagued our neighborhoods by selling drugs,” stated Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Riehl of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “The success of this investigation is attributed to the excellent undercover work that was conducted and the solid partnership between ATF, the Stockton Police Department, and the United States Attorney’s Office.”

According to court documents, law enforcement conducted an extensive investigation into the drug and gun dealing activities of Moreno and his co-defendants, Luis Magana and Juvenal Junez. On March 11, 2013, Moreno and Magana met an undercover ATF agent at the Kmart parking lot at 2181 East Mariposa Road in Stockton. During the meeting, Moreno sold the undercover agent approximately one-quarter pound of methamphetamine for $2,200. During a second meeting, on March 22, 2013, Moreno met an undercover ATF agent at the same parking lot and sold the undercover agent approximately one-quarter pound of methamphetamine for $1,920 and a HI-Point semi-automatic pistol for $350.

In April 2014, Judge Karlton sentenced Luis Magana to 10 years in prison and sentenced Juvenal Junez to four years and nine months in prison.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christiaan Highsmith prosecuted the case.


Docket #: 2:13-cr-166 LKK

San Francisco Field Division