21 drug traffickers arrested, 3 from Kern County

Crime Watch

A total of 21 Drug Traffickers associated with the Nuestra Familia were arrested on federal charges with three being from Kern County.

During a multi-agency operation, over 50 individuals were arrested on federal and state charges of drug trafficking linked to the Nuestra Familia prison gang. The three individuals from Kern County who were charged with federal crimes are Jesus Nunez, 19, from McFarland, Maria Nunez, 22, from McFarland and Ernesto Zibray, 30, from Delano.

In March of 2019, an investigation was being done on the Nuestra Familila prison gang and the Norteño street gang in Kings County. During the investigation officials learned the Nuestra Familia were responsible for trafficking a large amount of methamphetamine, other controlled substances, firearms and were responsible for a number of violent crimes.

Two high-ranking gang members with Nuestra Familia Salvador Castro and Raymond Lopez used cell phones from inside Fresno County’s Pleasant Valley State Prison to set up the transport of drugs from California and Mexico to stash houses located in Kings County. From the stash houses in Kings County drugs were sold and distributed by gang members not in prison throughout Kings and Tulare Counties.

“The fear and violence that criminal street gangs are perpetrating in our communities cannot be tolerated,” said Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “We will continue to collaborate with our federal and local partners to reduce crime and keep our communities safe.”

The defendants who have been charged federally are:

1) SALVADOR CASTRO, JR., 49, of Pleasant Valley State Prison

2) RAYMOND LOPEZ, 31, of Pleasant Valley State Prison

3) JESSE JUAREZ, 28, of Visalia

4) DANIEL JUAREZ, 27, of Visalia

5) MICHAEL ROCHA, 36, of Visalia

6) ANGEL MONTES, 23, of Visalia

7) RAFAEL LOPEZ, 28, of Visalia

8) MANUEL BARRERA, 24, of Kettleman City

9) MANUEL GARCIA, 33, of Armona

10) JOANN BERNAL, 32, of Armona

11) RAMON AMADOR, 29, of Riverdale

12) RAUL LOPEZ, JR., 48, of Visalia

13) DONAVEN ADKINS, 41, of Hanford

14) RYAN GINES, 39, of Armona

15) DOUG GINES, 48, of Hanford

16) FLORENTINO GUTIERREZ, 37, of Hanford

17) JESUS NUNEZ, 19, of McFarland

18) MARIA NUNEZ, 22, of McFarland

19) LOUIS MOLINA, 48, of Hanford

20) ERNESTO ZIBRAY, 30, of Delano

21) TIFFANY FELLER, 31, of Riverdale.

“This coordinated law enforcement operation highlights how federal, state, and local law enforcement partners can work together to target gang activities that make our communities unsafe. When we work together in this way, we are more effective in achieving our shared goal of ensuring public safety,” said U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott. “We are committed to combatting and reducing violent crime and drug trafficking, both inside and outside of prison walls.”

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