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News Release
Thirty-Four Individuals from Across the United States Indicted on Charges of Criminal Conspiracy Involving Illegal Drugs, Firearms, Money Laundering, Cockfighting and Attempts to Kill Witnesses - 04/18/24

Yakima, Washington – United States Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref announced today that twenty-eight people are in state or federal custody following the return of six separate indictments alleging more than two dozen charges against thirty-four separate defendants. Certain of the individuals indicted are not yet in federal custody.

The arrests follow a long-term joint federal and state investigation led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives into La Nuestra Familia (NF), a violent prison gang responsible for trafficking dangerous drugs into our community for the enrichment of their members, which includes leaders of this organization who, in some cases, are serving life sentences in the United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado (USP Florence ADMAX).  USP Florence ADMAX is one of the Bureau of Prisons’ most secure facilities, providing an even higher level of custody than a regular maximum-security prison. 

The arrests are the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation that began in approximately 2018 and spanned multiple jurisdictions from various locations in Washington State, to include Yakima County, the Yakama Reservation, Spokane County, and Walla Walla County. The operation also extended into Louisiana, Colorado, and Arkansas. 

The conspiracy indictment alleges Robert Patrick Hanrahan, Rigoberto Escobedo Gonzalez, Travis Michael McGuire, and Jose Alfredo Chavez Arredondo, acted as supervisors to dozens of individuals engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise that included possession and distribution of illegal drugs, cockfighting, possession of illegal firearms, illegal use of the U.S. Mail, and attempts to kill those who assisted law enforcement in this investigation.  Multiple individuals have also been charged with laundering the proceeds made from these illicit ventures.

Upon release of the conspiracy indictment, which was unsealed earlier today upon the arrest of several suspects, United States Attorney Waldref stated, “I am grateful for the coordinated efforts of so many law enforcement agencies, who simultaneously executed more than twenty search warrants in the Yakima area and across the United States earlier today. More than 350 federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement came together to coordinate the takedown of this alleged drug trafficking operation.”  U.S. Attorney Waldref continued, “It is an honor to lead important prosecutions, such as this one, which has removed illegal drugs and firearms from our community and illegal narcotics from the Bureau of Prisons. Our community and our nation are safer and stronger as a result of the incredible work of our law enforcement and prosecution teams.” 

During the operation, agents seized approximately 37 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, pound quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine, as well as more than 8,000 fentanyl-laced pills.  Additionally, the law enforcement team seized more than $20,000 in U.S. currently. Agents also seized hundreds of roosters from locations in Zillah and Outlook, Washington. The roosters were allegedly used in cockfights. Many of the roosters are being turned over to the care of Heartwood Haven Animal Rescue located in Roy, Washington. 

According to unsealed charging documents, the following individuals have been indicated in connection with ATF’s joint investigation. The United States anticipates brining additional charges against other individuals identified during the execution of search warrants early today. In addition, the names of others indicted in connection with this investigation will be unsealed upon the arrest of those individuals.

 

  • Fabian Arredondo a/k/a “DV,” 34, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances and Conspiracy to Launder Money.
  • Joanna Arredondo, 34, charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money 
  • Jose Alfredo Chavez Arredondo a/k/a “Cuyi,” 43, charged with Continuing Criminal Enterprise, Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl, Distribution of Cocaine, Conspiracy to Launder Money, Unlawful Animal Fighting
  • Jose Alfredo Ricardo Arredondo a/k/a “Papaz,” 25, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, Distribution of Cocaine, Unlawful Possession of a Machinegun 
  • Alexa Joann Carras-Blackburn, 35, charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Pablo Angel Castellon a/k/a “Sapo,” 40, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances, Conspiracy to Launder Money 
  • Mayda Ivette Castellon, 36, charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Jacenir Amezcua Dasilva a/k/a “Serio,” 30, charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money, Attempt to Retaliate Against a Federal Witness, Conspiracy to Retaliate Against a Federal Witness
  • Marco Anthony Gomez, Jr.  a/k/a “Silky,” 45, charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Rigoberto Escobedo Gonzalez a/k/a “Crazy Thugg,” 35, charged with Continuing Criminal Enterprise, Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Distribution of Cocaine, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Robert Patrick Hanrahan a/k/a “Bubba,” 52, charged with Continuing Criminal Enterprise, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Jazmine Renea Hart, 32, charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Maria Esperanza Hermoso, 28, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Adrean Kendall Lafollette a/k/a “Hunger,” 33, charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Travis Michael Mcguire a/k/a “Slim,” 49, charged with Continuing Criminal Enterprise, Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Conspiracy to Unlawfully Use a Communication Facility, Attempted Possession with Intent to Distribute 40 Grams or More of Fentanyl, Attempted Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Jesus Antonio Mirelez a/k/a “Dizzy,” 34, Conspiracy to Launder Money, Felon in Possession of a Firearm
  • Felipe Feliciano Ramirez a/k/a “Casper,” 44, charged with Conspiracy to Unlawfully Use a Communications Facility, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Logan Paul Scheck a/k/a “Sin,” 31, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Brian Lee Sellers, 62, charged with Conspiracy to Unlawfully Use a Communications Facility, Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Misael Vazquez-Moreno, 26, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl
  • Fernando Villegas, 25, charged with Unlawful Animal Fighting
  • Thomas Lee Weatherwax a/k/a “Wax,” 25, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Yesika Escobedo Zaragoza, 40, charged with Conspiracy to Money Launder
  • Arthur Frank Cardenas a/k/a “Porkchop,” 45, charged with Attempt to Retaliate Against a Federal Witness, Conspiracy to Retaliate Against a Federal Witness
  • Joshua Isaac Stine a/k/a “Heat,” 39, charged with Attempt to Retaliate Against a Federal Witness, Conspiracy to Retaliate Against a Federal Witness
  • Hugo Enrique Davadi a/k/a “Flako,” 36, charged with Distribution of 40 Grams or More of Fentanyl

 

Certain of the individuals will be arraigned at the Yakima and Spokane Federal Courthouses at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 19.  

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives conducted the investigation along with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S Marshals Service, U.S. Border Patrol, Federal Bureau of Prisons, ICE Enforcement Removal Operations, Washington State Patrol, Washington State Department of Corrections, Washington State Gambling Commission, Yakima Police Department, Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, Grandview Police Department, Walla Walla Regional Drug Task Force, Selah Police Department, Spokane Police Department, and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. 

Assistant United States Attorneys from the Eastern District of Washington are prosecuting the case.  Former AUSA Frances Walker was the initial prosecutor on the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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