(Phoenix, Ariz. – Nov. 24, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced the indictment of 12 individuals involved in a major methamphetamine ring operating in Gila Bend and in the town of San Lucy on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation.
Eight of the 12 defendants have been served. They are Julius Young, 28, Mike Noriz, 21, Daniel Mathew Gannon, 25, Nathan Neblina, 36, and Robert Brown, 69, all of Gila Bend; Cecilio Delgado-Encinas, 29, of Buckeye; Ramon Ordonez, 32, of Tolleson; and Robert Dominguez, 38, of San Lucy. They face multiple charges, including conspiracy, illegally conducting an enterprise and sale of methamphetamine. The other four individuals are not being identified pending service. The defendants face penalties of up to 15 years in prison.
Last summer, members of the Tohono O’odham Police Department obtained the assistance of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Mobile Enforcement Team to address a serious methamphetamine problem in the communities of San Lucy, located on the reservation, and Gila Bend in Maricopa County. DEA officers also obtained the assistance of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Buckeye Police Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The DEA Mobile Enforcement Team began an intensive investigation in August, and numerous meth dealers were identified. Undercover agents purchased methamphetamine worth more than $40,000 in about 20 separate transactions, and suppliers were identified. The investigation culminated last week with search warrants being executed in homes in Goodyear, Avondale and Buckeye, which were identified as sources of the drugs. Several other individuals apprehended at the search warrant locations were arrested on outstanding federal warrants arising out of other charges. At least one of the defendants has told investigators of a tie to a Mexican drug cartel.
A redacted copy of the indictment, which does not identify the four defendants who have not yet been served, is attached. Assistant Attorney General Marna McLendon is prosecuting this case. For more information, contact Janey Pearl at (602) 542-8019.