Three Members of Santa Barbara County Gangs Get 10 Years

November 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Santa Barbara Bail Bonds

Three men linked to three street gangs Santa Barbara County have received sentences ranging from a decade to much more than 15 years in federal prison following pleading guilty to federal charges related to the distribution of methamphetamine.

Two in the three defendants had been sentenced this morning by United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II after pleading guilty earlier this year. Those sentenced earlier these days had been:

David Michael Jimenez, 24, of Carpenteria, who was sentenced to 188 months in prison for his conviction on a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy charge; and
Juan Duran Rivas, also known as “Flaco,” 37, of Ventura, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy and distribution of methamphetamine.

The third defendant in the case-Jose Anthony Rivas, 35, of Ventura-was sentenced by Judge Wright on June 6 to 10 years in prison. Jose Rivas, who’s Juan Rivas’ brother, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and distribution of methamphetamine.

The case against the Rivas brothers and Jimenez is part of Operation Peaceworks, a collaboration between the United States Department of Justice, the Oxnard Police Department, and the California Governor’s Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention Workplace.

Cases like this come through our Santa Barbara Bail Bonds offices all the time. Not one as big as this one, but the charges of drug trafficking and drug possession happen all the time. The bail bonds process for the smaller drug charges is $10,000. The drug trafficking charges quickly goes up to $25,000. If the defendants have multiple charges, which they normally do in this case, each bail is added together to make a total bail. If the defendants wanted to bail out with the use of a bail bonds company they would need to come up with 10% of the total bail issued by the judge. So the judge would add all the bail together for all of their charges, for example $35,000. The defendant would then need to pay the bail bondsman $3500 for their services. The judge might also put a PC 1275.1 hold to make sure the defendants paid the bail with monies from legal sources.

“Programs like Operation Peaceworks-which combine conventional suppression efforts with innovative prevention, intervention and re-entry efforts-are at the center in the Justice Department’s efforts to retake manage of neighborhoods exactly where gangs run rampant,” said United States Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. “Operation Peaceworks offers identified gang members with opportunities to change their behavior and quit committing crimes, whilst reminding them of the consequences if they do not. The federal prison sentences announced these days are an example of those consequences. Gang members across this region are now warned that if they don’t alter their behavior, they will be subject to federal prosecution and incarceration.”

Based on court records, all three defendants are members of coastal-area gangs. Juan Rivas is really a founding member in the Oxnard-based Surtown street gang; Jose Rivas is really a member in the Oxnard-based Squires Drive street gang; and Jimenez is a member of the Carpas street gang, the documents show.

All 3 defendants have been detained without bond since they were arrested on December 16. A federal grand jury in late December indicted the 3 men in relation to six narcotics transactions, each involving roughly two ounces of methamphetamine, from September through December 2010.

The case against the Rivas brothers and Jimenez was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Ventura County Regional Interagency Anti-Crime Job Force, the Oxnard Police Department and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

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