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Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 25 Years in Ongoing Nuestra Familia Gang Prosecution

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb sentenced Gabriel Caracheo, 38, of Salinas, today to 25 years in prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine.

This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the FBI’s Stockton Violent Crime Task Force, the San Joaquin County Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force (METRO), the Stockton Police Department, the Salinas Police Department, the Watsonville Police Department, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) that was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply. Assistant United States Attorneys Jason Hitt and William S. Wong prosecuted the case.

According to evidence introduced in a related trial, the Nuestra Familia (NF) is a violent Hispanic prison gang based in the California prison system, which exerts control over street-level Norteño gang members engaged in drug trafficking and violent crime. NF members and associates were responsible for distributing large amounts of illegal drugs, including methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy in the Eastern and Northern Districts of California with supply lines from Mexico and distribution channels throughout the United States.

According to court documents, between April 2004 and June 2007, more than 20 individuals were operating outside of prison to distribute large quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana on behalf of the NF. In April 2007, Caracheo was given authority over the NF’s drug trafficking operations in the East Bay Area, which included Oakland. Caracheo obtained and distributed pound quantities of methamphetamine from Mario Diaz and others while Diaz lived in Los Banos. The methamphetamine was obtained from Southern California and transported through the Eastern District of California over Interstate 5 into the Salinas area.

Between March 22, 2007 and May 26, 2007, the FBI intercepted Caracheo in multiple drug-related phone calls with Diaz. As part of his plea agreement, Caracheo admitted that the intercepted calls involved him talking to Diaz about pound quantities of methamphetamine and the differing quality of methamphetamine available. Caracheo further admitted that on May 26, 2007, he was planning to get 1½ pounds of methamphetamine from Diaz, but law enforcement officers arrested Diaz.


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