FRESNO, Calif. — Malachai Serrano, 31 of San Antonio, Texas, pleaded responsible right this moment to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana and utilizing a firearm throughout and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, U.S. Lawyer Phillip A. Talbert introduced.
In keeping with courtroom paperwork, the costs arose from a long-term investigation that uncovered proof of a scheme involving the commerce of unlawful medication sourced in Mexico and California for firearms sourced in Texas. In 2021, a staff of native, state, and federal legislation enforcement officers partnered in an investigation into a gaggle of Tulare County Surenos road gang members. A part of the investigation centered on Serrano and his associates, who had been concerned in transport unlawful medication and firearms throughout state traces.
Between April 6, 2021, and Dec. 17, 2021, Serrano’s associates, together with Jonathan Gallegos, 32, of Ivanhoe, shipped kilograms of marijuana and methamphetamine from put up places of work in Central California to residences in San Antonio, Texas. Serrano and his associates shipped firearms again to Gallegos and his associates in California as fee for the narcotics they’d acquired. Serrano is a felon who can not lawfully possess firearms.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Workplace, the Tulare County Space Regencies Gun Enforcement Staff, the Visalia Police Division, the California Division of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation, the California Freeway Patrol’s Particular Operations Unit, and the Tulare County District Lawyer’s Workplace. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin J. Gilio and Antonio J. Pataca are prosecuting the case.
On Oct. 11, 2022, Gallegos pleaded responsible; he’s scheduled to be sentenced on March 13, 2023.
Serrano is scheduled to be sentenced Could 15, 2023, earlier than U.S. District Choose Ana de Alba. Serrano faces a compulsory minimal sentence of 15 years in jail and as much as life in jail. The precise sentence, nonetheless, might be decided on the discretion of the courtroom after consideration of any relevant statutory elements and the Federal Sentencing Pointers, which consider numerous variables.
This effort is a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Process Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level legal organizations that threaten the USA utilizing a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency method. Extra details about the OCDETF Program might be discovered at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
This case is a part of Challenge Protected Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing collectively all ranges of legislation enforcement and the communities they serve to cut back violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everybody. On Could 26, 2021, the U.S. Division of Justice launched a violent crime discount technique strengthening PSN based mostly on these core ideas: fostering belief and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that assist forestall violence from occurring within the first place, setting centered and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the outcomes.