Drug ring: five plead guilty, four ask for continuance
Last updated 8/28/2008 at Noon
At the August 14 preliminary hearing for the nine individuals arrested here for drug trafficking, five pleaded guilty and four asked for and were granted a continuance for their hearing until September 12.
Deputy District Attorney Chris Lindberg, who is prosecuting the case, said, “Some of the individuals pled guilty and the remaining defendants asked for a continuance so their attorneys could have time to further review the charges and evidence against them.”
Roberto Gerardo Ponce, Carlos Gonzalez, Brad Kevin Block, Chase Alexander Kendrick, John Chisholm, Adam Jeffrey Lee, Joel Cintora Cazares, Enrique Cintora Cazares and Jasiel Pedroza were arrested between June 18 and 23 in connection with what law enforcement authorities have described as an organized crime ring that conducted street sales of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.
Roberto Ponce, 27, pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana for sale. Ponce, who remains in custody at the South Bay Detention Center, is scheduled to be sentenced on September 23. In open court proceedings it was noted that Ponce already has one “strike” on his record. Lindberg said Ponce is likely to get a tougher sentence because of his prior conviction.
Carlos Gonzalez, 27, pleaded guilty to the sale of cocaine and is scheduled to be sentenced on September 18. He remains in custody.
Brad Block, 33, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for sale and has been given a sentencing date of October 7. Block is currently out on bail.
Chase Kendrick, 24, pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of marijuana for sale and is scheduled to be sentenced on September 18. He is also currently out on bail.
John Chisholm, 24, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for sale and was granted a sentencing date of November 24 due to the fact that he is still serving a sentence in Riverside County for a prior drug conviction.
Chisholm pleaded guilty in February to the transportation, distribution or sale of cocaine; he was placed on three years’ probation and ordered to serve 180 days in jail. His jail time was stipulated to be served on weekends, said Ingrid Wyatt of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
Chisholm has been released on his own recognizance in order to satisfy his sentence in Riverside County before being sentenced for his more recent conviction.
The remaining defendants are all still in custody and scheduled to appear again on September 12.
Adam Lee, 23, is charged with three counts of the sale of cocaine, two counts of possession of cocaine for sale, two counts of transportation of cocaine, possession of marijuana for sale, grand theft, driving on a suspended license and evading an officer with reckless driving.
Joel Cazares, 36, is charged with two counts of the sale of cocaine, two counts of the transportation of cocaine, two counts of possession of cocaine for sale, two counts of possession of marijuana for sale, possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of steroids and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Enrique Cazares, 34, is charged with the sale of cocaine, transportation of cocaine, possession of cocaine for sale, possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of steroids and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Jasiel Pedroza, 27, is charged with possession of marijuana for sale and possession of steroids.
At the time of their arrests, law enforcement authorities said the group was involved in purchasing drugs from Canada and Mexico, transporting them to Fallbrook and distributing them to street-level dealers throughout San Diego County.
The investigation was said to take place over a two-year period during which authorities used undercover officers and wiretapping equipment to monitor the group’s activities.