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Friday, July 16, 2010

Operation Archangel Nets 19 Federal Arrests

Spokane — Today, James A. McDevitt, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced the culmination of Operation Archangel, a law enforcement operation targeting area gang members and their associates who are involved in the illegal distribution of controlled substances and related crimes, including firearms violations, occurring in the Spokane regional area.

Members of the Spokane Violent Crime Gang Enforcement Team (SVCGET) began arresting suspects early this morning. The Quad-Cities Drug Task Force, the Tri-Cities Violent Gang Task Force, the South Sound Gang Task Force and the North Idaho Violent Crime Task Force also assisted in this operation.

This operation continues to seek several federal fugitives. In addition to the federal charges, 30 individuals were arrested or charged with state crimes. The following people have been arrested and charged with federal crimes:

•William Ward Alexander-Durr, age 27, felon in possession of firearm and ammunition,

•Ryan M. Hoffman, age 32, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and felon in possession of firearm,

•Andrew T. Burns, age 36, distribution of crack cocaine,

•Dunshawn D. Morris, age 31, distribution of crack cocaine,

•Michael Anthony Green, age 31, felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition,

•John Jacob Inglis, age 24, felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition,

•Michael R. Landeros, age 38, felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition,

•Duane A. Martin, age 39, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and heroin,

•William Earl Ortiz, age 39, distribution of methamphetamine,

•Alberto G. Villanueva, age 28, possession with the intent to distribute cocaine,

•Cayetano Talavera, age 27, possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine,

•Tracy K. McKenzie, age 45, distribution of crack cocaine,

•Justin Battle, age 30, felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition,

•Abraham Rodriguez, age 48, possession and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine,

•Oscar Rodriguez, age 25, possession and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine,

•Lori Gonzalez, age 23, possession and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine,

•Sergio Armando Sandoval-Reyes, age 24, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances,

•Franklin Gabriel Vandagriff, age 21, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and

•Curtis Reese Storey, age 27, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

James A. McDevitt, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said, “The continued cooperation of these fine law enforcement agencies is exemplary. Each agency has brought its tools and unique talents to collectively make a bigger difference.”

“Archangel is an example of our continuing emphasis on this criminal element,” said Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. “Gang members represent a heightened risk to our communities because of their frequent and indiscriminate use of violence.”

Spokane Valley Chief Rick VanLeuven echoed that sentiment, saying “Gangs have established a presence in Spokane Valley, and it’s critical that we disrupt their business in order to protect our citizens.” He added, “It’s because of the Spokane Violent Crimes Gang Enforcement Team and its regional connections that we are able to identify these criminals and remove them from our streets.”

Depending on the quantity and type of controlled substance involved, a conviction for distribution of drugs typically carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, and court supervision after release. A conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm typically carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, up to 3 years of court supervision after release.

The SVCGET is comprised of police officers, detectives, and representatives from the Spokane Police Department, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington State Patrol, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Washington State Department of Corrections. These cases are being prosecuted by Aine Ahmed, Russell Smoot and Stephanie Van Marter, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.

The Spokane Violent Crime Gang Enforcement Team, the Tri-Cities Violent Gang Task Force, the North Idaho Violent Crime Task Force based in Coeur d’Alene, and the South Sound Gang Task Force based in Tacoma are funded by the FBI Safe Streets program. Since January 1992, the FBI Safe Streets Violent Crime Initiative has grown to include 160 task forces across the nation. This program, administered by the FBI’s Safe Streets and Gang Unit, provides a vehicle through which all of the federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are able to join together to address the violent crime plaguing our communities.

An Indictment Contains Allegations That a Defendant Has Committed a Crime. Every Defendant Is Presumed Innocent until and Unless Proven Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.

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