FBI: 24 Charged in Drug Trafficking Networks in Pasadena and Antelope Valley

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Federal charges were filed Dec. 3 against 24 members and associates of Pasadena-based gangs and drug trafficking organizations in the San Gabriel and Antelope Valleys in connection with an alleged narcotics network operating in Southern California, federal officials announced Thursday.

Authorities seized more
than 60 pounds of methamphetamine, heroin and powder cocaine during “Operation Rosebud.” (Credit: FBI)

“Operation Rosebud” targeted the street gang known as “Vario Pasadena Rifa” (VPR) whose members are known to distribute large quantities of methamphetamine in the city of Pasadena and surrounding areas in the San Gabriel Valley, according to a news release from the FBI.

VPR operated through a network of suppliers that facilitated the delivery of pure methamphetamine from Mexico through southwest states and ultimately to local destinations, according to the release. The task force seized more
than 60 pounds of methamphetamine, heroin and powder cocaine from sources linked to the drug trafficking organization.

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles returned three indictments on Dec. 3 charging the defendants in with various violations related to the alleged drug network.

Two of the defendants were already in custody; two of the defendants were deported; three of the defendants are unidentified subjects; 12 defendants were arrested during a raid on Wednesday; and five are considered fugitives, the FBI said.

According to the FBI, the Varrio Pasadena Rifa is a violent, and one of Pasadena’s oldest, street gangs, consisting of more than 50 documented gang members. VPR members are known to control their distribution of illegal narcotics through violence and intimidation. Varrio translates in English to “neighborhood,” Pasadena relates to the City of Pasadena, and Rifa translates in English to “we rule,” or “we are the best.”.

Those charged in the federal indictments are listed below:
Amy Morales, 34, Lancaster, Arrested
Jennifer Elaine Beniche, 34, Rosamond, Arrested
Michelle Labrador, 36, Rosamond, Arrested
Horacio Godoy, 33, Rosamond, Arrested
Vidal Garcia, aka “Billy,” 32, Lancaster,
Rene Montenegro Martinez, aka “Lil Man,” “Midget,” 33, Palmdale, Arrested
Ricardo Garcia, Jr., aka “Grumpy,” 21, Lancaster, Arrested
Jose Salvador Villa, 37, West Covina, Arrested
Dora Alicia Vasquez, aka “Dora Sanchez,” 29, Pasadena, Arrested
Ernest Gabriel Alderette, aka “Ernie,” “Turtle,” 32, Pasadena, Arrested
Edwin Benjamin Ayala, aka “Dex,” 34, Altadena, Arrested
Francis Kolbjornsen, 29, Hawthorne, Arrested
Osvaldo Hernandez Limas, 39, Lancaster, Fugitive
Juan Carlos Garcia, 26, Norwalk, Fugitive
Jose Daniel Rivera, aka “Clumsy”, already in federal custody on unrelated charges
Unidentified Coconspirator, #145#, aka “Cousin”
Unidentified Coconspirator, “163”, aka “Junior”
Unidentified Coconspirator, “2574”
Christopher Thomas Delgado, aka “Shorty,” already in state custody on unrelated charges
Argenis Ariel Rosales, Deported
Jose Ramos Martinez, aka “Timido,” Deported

The names of three other fugitives were being withheld at this time.

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