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Operation Garlic Press Perps Get 277 Years in Prison Collectively, More Sentences Coming

Over 90 percent of the charged criminals have pled guilty, and 33 have been sentenced to an average of over eight years in prison.

Contributed by the Gilroy Police Department:

As of Thursday, 43 of the 46 defendants charged federally in Operation Garlic Press, a multi-agency, law enforcement initiative that was conducted in Gilroy in October 2011, have pled guilty in federal court, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

Lilia Valderrama pled guilty Wednesday morning, before United States District Court Judge Lucy H. Koh in San Jose, to possession with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841. She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 13, 2013. 

In March, 2010, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) began an undercover operation with the Gilroy Police Department and the California Highway Patrol. That operation targeted individuals, including gang members, who commit violent criminal acts. The investigation focused on individuals operating in the California counties of Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito.

Prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office and the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office, working together, charged a total of 118 defendants. The federal operation’s primary objective was to target subjects who trafficked in firearms and narcotics, primarily methamphetamine, while the state focused on vehicles that had been stolen or were the subject of insurance fraud. Among the items seized were 86 vehicles, 52 firearms (including several sawed off shotguns, stolen firearms, and firearms with obliterated serial numbers) and methamphetamine, much of which was extremely pure (some 100 percent), with a street value of more than $100,000. 

In addition to Valderrama, 42 other federal Operation Garlic Press defendants have pled guilty in federal court. Their names and statuses are listed below.

Arianna Baca: 78 months in prison, to be followed by 48 months of supervised release 
Izaeus Banda: 60 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release. 
Scott Burns: 100 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release. 
Frank Cardenas: 60 months in prison to be followed by 60 months of supervised release. 
Arturo Cervantes: 60 months in prison to be followed by 60 months of supervised release. 
Christina Chavez: 24 months in prison to be followed by 12 months of supervised release. 
Yvonne Chavez: scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 7, 2013. 
Juan Chavez-Ornelas: 87 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release. 
Rodolfo Contreras: 60 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release. 
Melissa Duarte: scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 17, 2012. 
Dagoberto Duran: 72 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release. 
Desiree Flores: 60 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release. 
Joshua Flores 180 months in prison, to be followed by 120 months of supervised release. 
Raymond Gallegos: scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 17, 2012. 
Adrian Gamino: 240 months in prison, to be followed by120 months of supervised release. 
Lorenzo Garcia: scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 13, 2013. 
Jose Gonzalez: scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 23, 2013. 
Miguel Gonzalez: 240 months in prison, to be followed by 120 months of supervised release. 
Gustavo Hernandez: 60 months in prison, to be followed by 48 months of supervised release. 
Maria Hernandez: scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 23, 2013. 
Simon Hernandez: 84 months in prison, to be followed by 120 months of supervised release. 
Frank Herrera: 57 months in prison, to be followed by 36 months of supervised release. 
Henry Jones: 57 months in prison, to be followed by 36 months of supervised release. 
Ricardo Landecho: scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 25, 2013. 
Frank Machado: 60 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release. 
Diana Mayoral: 6 months in prison, to be followed by 48 months of supervised release. 
Rosa Martinez: 70 months in prison, to be followed by 48 months of supervised release. 
Joshua Moore: 60 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release. 
Addel Montero: 72 months in prison, to be followed by 48 months of supervised release. 
Hugo Mora: 68 months in prison, to be followed by 48 months of supervised release. 
KC Pries: 63 months in prison, to be followed by 36 months of supervised release. 
Enrique Quintero: 240 months in prison, to be followed by 120 months of supervised release. 
Rigoberto Ramirez: 60 months in prison, to be followed by 120 months of supervised release. 
Robert Reddick 9 months in prison, to be followed by 24 months of supervised release. 
Cala Remick: scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 12, 2012. 
Everardo Robles: 108 months in prison, to be followed by 120 months of supervised release. 
Jose Romero: 84 months in prison, to be followed by120 months of supervised release. 
Michael Ruelas: scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 13, 2013. 
David Sainz: 188 months in prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release. 
Jimmy Sandoval: 70 months in prison, to be followed by 48 months of supervised release. 
Leonardo Silga: 240 months in prison, to be followed by 120 months of supervised release. 
Paul Zabala: 180 months in prison, to be followed by120 months of supervised release. 

Thomas O’Connell and Daniel Kaleba are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are prosecuting the cases with the assistance of Tracey Andersen and Nina Williams. The prosecution is the result of a one and one-half year investigation by ATF and the Gilroy Police Department.

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