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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Eastern District of California

For Immediate Release

Friday, March 09, 2012

Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney

Contact: Lauren Horwood, Public Information Officer
(916) 554-2706

Villa Posse Gang Leader Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking

FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Curtis Hendrix, 37, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

According to court documents, in 2008, Hendrix coordinated a series of drug sales and purchases with 694 grams of crack cocaine attributable to him. Hendrix was assisted in his drug trafficking operation by a number of individuals who would pick up narcotics, break them down, package them for sale, and sell them. Several people acted as lookouts for police and rival gangs. Much of the drug trafficking activity occurred at the Best Budget Motel in Fresno, an area Villa Posse claimed as their territory.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Fresno Police Department, the California Department of Justice Special Services Unit, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and Fresno County Probation. It was part of the Project SAFE Neighborhoods initiative, aimed at addressing gang and firearms crimes through cooperative efforts among local, state and federal agencies. Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Sanchez is prosecuting the case.

All other co–defendants in this case have been sentenced to prison terms as follows: Keonie McGrue, eight years; Damien Witherspoon, four years; Edward Hatcher, two and a half years; Jonathan Greenwood, three years; Lester Gant, four years; Melvin Wilburn, four years; Gino Rios, 30 months; Aaron Muldrew, six years, five months; Ernest Panoo, four years, seven months; Jernell Beasley, four years; Jerome Williams, eight years; and Allison Jones, three years and one month.

Hendrix is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill on June 11, 2012. The maximum statutory penalty for each offense of conviction is 40 years in prison, a $10 million fine, life term of supervised release, and a mandatory minimum of five years in prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.