Results tagged “Drug Trafficking” from The Court Reporter

San Clemente Man Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion and Drug Trafficking

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        SANTA ANA -  A San Clemente man, who admitted that he earned about $25 million from marijuana sales over the course of six years, pleaded guilty today to tax offenses and drug trafficking in relation to a string of nine illegal marijuana storefronts that generated millions in profits, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

        John Melvin Walker, also known as "Pops," 56,  pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute well over a ton of marijuana and to maintain  drug-involved premises. He also pleaded guilty to a tax evasion count in a second case that was filed in February.

            Federal authorities allege that Walker specifically admitted that he earned $11.4 million in 2009, but reported to the IRS income of only $200,180 and that he owed $2,656 in taxes. 

            Walker admitted in the plea agreement that he owed the IRS $944,133 in relation to the 2009 tax year alone, officials stated.

           Walker was one of 14 people indicted in October.

            Walker owned and operated at least nine marijuana stores in cities across Los Angeles and Orange counties.

            He has two prior felony drug-trafficking convictions from state court. Walker admitted that he directed the managers of his marijuana stores to shred records as part of his effort to conceal from tax authorities income earned from the sale of marijuana. Accordingly, it was routine for Walker's managers to destroy sales records.

            Walker will be sentenced in July and is facing up to life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years.

        The remaining defendants in this case are scheduled to go on trial in September.


Prison Gang Member Sentenced to 21 Years for Drug Trafficking

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SACRAMENTO, CA-- A federal judge sentenced Juan Gallegos, also known as "Wino," to 21 years and 10 months in prison for conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana along with our other drug trafficking felonies, according to law enforcement officials.

Gallegos, a member of Nuestra Familia, a violent Hispanic prison gang based in Northern California, helped transport and distribute large loads of the drugs from Southern California to Northern California, federal officials stated.

During his guilty plea, Gallegos, 36, of Salinas, admitted that he provided security for the 20 kilograms of cocaine as they were transported in furtherance of the overall NF drug trafficking conspiracy, stated FBI and other authorities.

The initial Indictment of 25 defendants in June 2007 led to two successful jury trials, according to officials.

The jury trials resulted in the convictions of five separate defendants on multiple counts of drug trafficking.

In the 2009 trial, one defendant demanded a speedy trial, was convicted, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, according to U.S. Attorney's Office.

In the 2010 trial, four of the NF's leadership defendants were each convicted on all the counts in the indictment after a contentious four-month jury trial.

Today's sentencing was the latest result of the new indictment that was handed down by a Sacramento Grand Jury in January 2011, officials stated.



Police Roundup 15 LA County Gang Suspects for Drug Dealing

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LOS ANGELES - Fifteen suspects were arrested this morning for alleged narcotics trafficking charges, according to federal officials.

The arrest of members of a criminal street gang, the Pasadena Denver Lane Bloods, came after an 18-month investigation where authoriities seized eight firearms, about $40,000 in cash, 11 pounds of cocaine and more than five pounds of crack cocaine.

 The investigation by DEA, FBI, Pasadena Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation targeted the gang's drug trafficking in the Antelope Valley, according to federal authorities.

The Court Reporter
Raul Hernandez has spent years writing stories about the drama that unfolds in the courtroom. Here he answers common questions, share some insights on the judicial system and passes along some of the little things that make the Ventura County courts an interesting place to be. You can contact him at