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Laredo, TX

Wilburn Harmon Jr., 45, from Springtown, Texas, was sentenced Aug. 29 to 132 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo. 

Missoula, MT
The indictment and eventual conviction was initiated by a Montana Highway Patrol traffic stop on Angel Iturbe-Gonzales, 37, in Gallatin County in April 2014. During the stop, Gonzales consented to a drug dog being run around his vehicle.
Scranton, PA
Thanh Duc Tran, of Houston, Texas, previously pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to distribute alpha-pvp to customers in at least 32 states, including Pennsylvania, over various web sites during 2011 through March 2014.
Amarillo, TX

On Sept. 20, Carlos Castro-Noriega, 34, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater to 63 months in federal prison.  Last month, Judge Fitzwater sentenced Cristina Melissa Gomez, 24, to 46 months in federal prison. 

Boston, MA

David Nguyen, 40, of Toronto, Canada, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute MDMA (aka “ecstasy” or “mollie”) and marijuana; and one count of conspiracy to launder money. Nguyen was indicted in January 2014, arrested in Canada in May 2014 and extradited to the United States in October 2016 after he temporarily surrendered to the United States.

Fort Worth, TX
Josimar Badillo-Ortiz, 29, from Fort Worth, Texas, was sentenced Feb. 26 by U.S. District Judge John McBryde to 240 months in prison. Badillo-Ortiz’s two co-conspirators, Joel Gonzalez-Oviedo, 25, and Juan Carranza-Moreno, 31, both from Fort Worth, are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge McBryde March 25.
Fresno, CA

According to the first indictment, between Feb. 1 and July 21, Christopher Martinez Sr., 45; Randy Seja, 24; Felix Gago, 40; and Christopher Martinez Jr., 23, conspired to possess and distribute methamphetamine. In the second indictment, Gilberto Zarate, 34; Jorge Calestino Alvarez-Arias, 27; Marco Mosqueda, 27; Frances Reyna, 55; Gabriel Galvan, 27; Rafael Delatorre, 32; Jose Delatorre, 22; Alfonso Esparza, 38; and Gabriel Esparza, 37, are charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; and distribution of  methamphetamine. Zarate, along with Alfonso Esparza and Gabriel Esparza, are also charged with being felons in possession of firearms. The third indictment adds defendant Cecilio Alaniz, 26, and Christopher Valdez, 35, to an indictment that originally charged Jesse Mendoza, 36, and Roxana Dodier, 23.

Washington, DC
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“Operation Hyperion” was initiated by U.S. federal law enforcement, the Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States) and members of Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, as the first step in developing a more unified global law enforcement response to the growing usage of the Darknet by individuals seeking to buy and sell illicit drugs and other illegal goods and services.

Salt Lake City, UT
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Aaron Michael Shamo, 29, of Cottonwood Heights, Utah, was found guilty after a jury trial of his peers found he orchestrated the import and distribution of fentanyl from China. Shamo faces a potential mandatory-minimum life sentence for his actions.

Boston, MA

David Nguyen, 40, of Toronto, Canada, was sentenced and ordered to pay a fine of $10,000.  Nguyen had previously pleaded guilty in October 2016 to one count of conspiracy to distribute MDMA (aka ecstasy, or “mollie”) and marijuana and one count of money laundering conspiracy. 

Los Angeles, CA
Cyber Crimes

Three people accused of being part of an international drug trafficking ring are in custody on federal charges alleging they used the Darknet to obtain drugs and offer narcotics for sale, and then shipped pound quantities of methamphetamine to buyers in the Philippines, New Zealand, Poland and other foreign destinations.

Newark, NJ

Jesse William Korff, 19, of LaBelle, was arrested by HSI special agents on a federal criminal complaint charging him with two counts: the possession and transfer of a toxin for use as a weapon; and smuggling goods from the United States.

Seattle, WA

Brian Farrell, 27, of Bellevue, was arrested in January 2015 for conspiracy to distribute heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine following a probe by the Seattle-Tacoma Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST Seattle), which includes HSI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. 

Dallas, TX

Jose Guerrero, aka “J.D.,” 38, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle to serve a total of 425 months in federal prison.

Philadelphia, PA
According to the indictment, the conspiracy existed from March 2014 to October 2015 and was led by Jorge Balbuena, who supplied wholesale amounts of heroin, cocaine, crack, and other controlled substances to other wholesale drug distributors, and street dealers.
Denver, CO
Some illicit marijuana grow operations were located in multiple residences and outbuildings; many others were located on federal land, causing environmental damage that may take years to repair. In every case, these marijuana grow operations were illegal under federal law and unlicensed by state authorities under Colorado’s marijuana regulatory system.
Tyler, TX

On Feb. 14, following a three-day jury trial, Conrado Depaz Arellano, 48, illegally residing in Carthage, Texas, was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.  Additionally, on Feb. 12, 2018, Arellano pleaded guilty to being illegally in the United States after having been deported.

St. Paul, MN
Enforcement and Removal
Malam Mane Sanha was sentenced May 22 to 36 months imprisonment following a guilty plea for conspiracy to commit narco-terrorism; conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States; conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, specifically the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC); and conspiracy to acquire and transfer anti-aircraft missiles.
Seattle, WA

Qifeng Li, 41, his wife Xiamin Huang, 38, and brother Qiwei Li, 45, all face a mandatory minimum five years in prison and up to 40 years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour on June 18, 2019.

Chicago, IL

On three occasions in 2018, Xianbing Gan schemed to have narcotics proceeds totaling about $534,206 picked up in Chicago and transferred to various bank accounts in China, in order for the money to ultimately be remitted to drug traffickers in Mexico.

Tucson, AZ

A State Grand Jury indicted 11 individuals accused of shipping illegal drugs and contraband across the country through the United Parcel Service (UPS); collectively the defendants face 48 felony counts, including money laundering, transportation of marijuana for sale, transportation of narcotic drugs for sale, misconduct involving weapons, and illegally conducting an enterprise.

Phoenix, AZ

Consuelo Stephanee Pena, 29, and on March 16, Dulce Avilene Gonzalez-Rosillo, 24, both of Phoenix were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Diane J. Humetewa and U.S. District Judge Douglas L. Rayes, respectively, for their participation in their illegal activity.

Tucson, AZ

The investigation began in 2017 after HSI special agents and TPD officers discovered evidence that drug trafficking organizations were utilizing United Parcel Service (UPS) employees to facilitate the movement of bulk narcotics to destinations throughout the eastern part of the United States, along with the movement of bulk U.S. currency back to the Tucson metropolitan area.