Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, January 28, 2024

200 Charged in Large Nation Wide Operation Against Drug Trafficking Organizations

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

“Over just three days and across 10 states, the Justice Department has charged nearly 200 individuals for their alleged roles in major drug trafficking operations,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “These cases represent just a fraction of the work our agents and prosecutors are doing every day to target, disrupt, and dismantle the cartels and drug trafficking organizations that are poisoning the American people.”

The cases announced this week were brought by federal law enforcement in 4 districts leading to the arrest of defendants from 10 states that cover crime rings operating in the Eastern, Southern, and Midwest regions of the US and throughout Alaska.

Alaska-California-Mexico Organization

On Jan. 25, the District of Alaska announced charges against 54 defendants in connection with a large-scale organized crime ring operating within the state of Alaska, allegedly run by an inmate from a California prison. Heraclio Sanchez-Rodriguez was serving a lengthy prison sentence at California’s Salinas Valley Prison when, in 2022 and 2023, he allegedly used smuggled cellphones to communicate with suppliers in Mexico and partners in California to send drugs to Alaska, according to one of the federal indictments. Two of his daughters and his sister have been accused by federal prosecutors of helping him.

From February 2022 to July 2023, law enforcement intercepted over 36 kilograms of fentanyl, 27.3 kilograms of meth, 11.3 kilograms of heroin, and 118 grams of cocaine connected to the enterprise The indictments allege the enterprise mainly used high-level suppliers to send drug packages through the U.S. Postal Service from Oregon and California to Alaska. Distributors located in Alaska would allegedly receive the packages and traffic the drugs to Alaskan communities, from the most populous cities to some of Alaska’s smallest villages.

Each substance the group dealt had a codename, according to the indictment: “Blueberries” or “fetty” for fentanyl, which is often pressed into small blue pills; “agua” for methamphetamine; “choco” for heroin.
Christina Quintana and other defendants convicted of assault and robbery over a drug debt in 2021.

The indictments charge that Christina Quintana, 38, who was an inmate at Hiland Mountain Correctional Facility in Eagle River during the entirety of the conspiracy, was known as one of Sanchez-Rodriguez’s “wives,” which was a title reserved for high-ranking members of the enterprise. Her role in the conspiracy was allegedly to recruit soon-to-be-released inmates from Hiland to be distributors for the enterprise. Upon release, the newly recruited members are alleged to have received packages of drugs to distribute the drugs across Alaska.

Sanchez-Rodriguez, the California man prosecutors say was at the head of the arrangement, kept a “handwritten ledger in his prison cell documenting approximately $215,100 in additional wire transfers to him and his associates,” according to one of the indictments.

Sunday Powers and Kami Clark were found murdered last year in shallow graves near Trapper Creek, Alaska.

At the direction of Sanchez-Rodriguez and in furtherance of the conspiracy, Tamara Bren, 41, who was one of Sanchez-Rodriguez’s “wives,” and Kevin Peterson, 29, another member of the enterprise, allegedly killed Sunday Powers and Kami Clark near Trapper Creek in May 2023. Court documents allege Sanchez-Rodriguez, Bren, and Peterson coordinated the kidnapping, where the victims were kidnapped through carjacking, murdered, and buried in a shallow grave.

The grand jury also charged Edward Ginnis, 38, and Samantha Pearson, 37, of North Pole, with offenses related to their role in the conspiracy and with distributing fentanyl to Adam Sakkinen resulting in his death.

Over 25 defendants were also charged with money laundering conspiracy to promote drug trafficking and conceal the source of the funds. Court documents identified at least 76 separate money laundering transactions as part of the investigation, including some made internationally to Mexico.

Gary Bernard Brown Jr., known as "Gee."

West Virginia-Baltimore Fentanyl Ring

On Jan. 24, the Northern District of West Virginia announced charges against 82 defendants for a drug trafficking ring operating in the Eastern Panhandle. According to court documents, Gary Bernard Brown Jr., 38, known as "Gee" of Baltimore, supplied others with large quantities of fentanyl capsules and powder for redistribution in Berkeley and Jefferson Counties. The investigation yielded 10 kilograms of fentanyl with a street value of $1.2 million. The fentanyl being trafficked was blue and packaged in colorful capsules, potentially attractive to children. It was enough fentanyl to create more than 33,000 of the capsules for sale. Officers also found cocaine, methamphetamine, firearms, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets during the investigation.

Nebraska-California-Mexico Meth Ring   

On Jan. 23, the District of Nebraska announced charges against 19 defendants for their roles as part of a meth distribution ring operating throughout Nebraska with ties to Kentucky and California. Alejandro Ruiz, 41, allegedly ran the crime syndicate out of California and trafficked meth and other narcotics from Mexico into California and then into the Midwest, including central Nebraska. In addition to meth seized through controlled buys, law enforcement also seized three firearms.

Mississippi-California-Mexico Network  

On Jan. 23, the Southern District of Mississippi arrested 40 individuals stemming from a four-year federal investigation of multiple drug-trafficking organizations distributing meth, cocaine, and other illegal narcotics. The case included defendants throughout Mississippi with connections to Mexico, California, Texas, Alabama, and elsewhere. Some defendants are charged with committing a meth drug offense while minors, including a young toddler, were at the location. Investigators seized 36 firearms, five kilograms of crystal meth, and one kilogram of cocaine.



  1. Andrea Avalos is cute.

    1. 2:31 cute de donde con esa frente de tumba burros.

  2. An alleged audio of Comandante 28 from Cartel de los Alemanes in SLP saying how they have the government on their payroll


  3. Miss Klondike logging camp #4. A real looker indeed.

  4. El flaquito le acaba de chingar un chingo de toneladas de mas de que le he quitado al alquiles y al mayo en tecate y fueron ah lorrar alas noticias queles robaron,pero no dicen que quieren matarlo desde 2019 y que el alquiles ah matado ah órdenes de mayo porque ah perdido 😩 mas toneladas que nunca 🙅

    1. Dilo como fue . Se las robaron con el gobierno por delante. Alrato El Aquiles les hace otro cochinero en TJ 😂 .6:36

  5. None of the news reports says why the 2 women were murdered.


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