U.S. Attorney's Office announces arrests of 55 people in multi-agency operation

Suspects accused of drug trafficking, illegal firearms dealing

MIAMI – The U.S. Attorney's Office partnered with state and local law enforcement officials to file federal charges against 55 people in five separate cases, authorities announced Thursday at a news conference.

Authorities said the defendants are involved in various criminal conduct including armed drug trafficking, narcotics conspiracies, illegal firearms sales and firearms violations by convicted felons.

"Today, we have cast a wide net in our ongoing efforts to prosecute the violent offenders, narcotics traffickers and convicted felons who continue to prey on our local communities," U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said.  "Our innovative investigative techniques continue to support the identification and apprehension of those who violate the law. Together, the dedicated law enforcement officers, community leaders and concerned citizens who support the Violence Reduction Partnership are taking back our neighborhoods that are plagued by illegal firearms, illicit drugs and crime."

Among the defendants are 32 people who were arrested Jan. 21 for their alleged participation in interlocking drug-trafficking conspiracies in Miami-Dade County, primarily in the neighborhoods of West Little River and Liberty City.

Below is a list of the defendants charged in the 16-count indictment:

  • Hiosbani Garcia, aka "Hioba," 43, of Miami
  • Reinaldo Gomez-Garcia, aka "Jacobo" aka "Papi," 33, of Miami
  • Francisco Garcia aka, "Frank," 27, of Miami
  • Luis Prieto Jr. aka, "Lou," 37, of Miami
  • Darlene Ondina Mendoza, 32, Miami
  • Michael Leon Thomas, aka "Poochie," and "Ghost," 39, of Pembroke Pines
  • Arturo Triana, 48, of Miami
  • Jose Turino, 50, of Kendall
  • Emilio Quinones, aka "Toqui," 30, of Hialeah
  • Aldo Cabreja-Olivera, aka "Pacheco," 43, of Miami
  • Yubisnel Rolando Rodriguez-Montoya, 34, of Miami
  • Argelis Casanova-Consuegra, 40, of Miami
  • Yosvani Alarcon-Esteves, 39, of Hialeah
  • Jose Mena Callejas, 38, of Miami
  • Calvin Roger Pearce II, 29, of Miami Gardens
  • Richard London, 33, of Miami Gardens
  • Rickey Lee Pryor Jr., 27, of Miami
  • Essence Sinque Clervil, aka "E-Class," 30, of Miami
  • Wayne Thomas Jr., aka "Boobie," 40, of North Miami
  • Kenneth Desmond Wright II, aka "Suge," 36, of Pembroke Pines
  • Melina Elina Pierre-Louis, 29, of Miami
  • Harry Kwame Figgers, aka "Jit," 37, of Miami
  • Nancy Sue Hechavarria, 27, of Miami
  • Samuel Lee Wooden, 30, of Fort Pierce
  • Bernard Franklin Tucker, 60, of Miami
  • Damon Lamont McWilliams, 49, of Miami
  • Joaquin Rodriguez, 60, of Miami
  • Guillermo Horta-Alvarez, 70, of Miami
  • Raul Rodriguez, 51, of Miami
  • Isaac James McCullough, 44, of Miami
  • Luis Manuel Zafora, 50, of Pembroke Pines
  • Alan Kirschman, 62, of Pompano Beach

According to court documents, authorities began investigating Michael Thomas, a suspected crack-cocaine trafficker who was operating in Liberty City and West Little River, in 2014.

Undercover officers purchased about 12 ounces of crack cocaine and three guns from Thomas and his associates, prosecutors said.

Investigators later discovered that a vast drug-trafficking network was going on in the area.

Hiosbani Garcia and Reinaldo Gomez-Garcia were identified as two of Thomas' suppliers. Prosecutors said some of the defendants were identified as convicted felons who unlawfully possessed firearms and ammunition or who sold firearms illegally.

Twenty others were arrested Tuesday for their alleged involvement in a Miami-based heroin-trafficking network that also operated in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Below is a list of those charged in the 12-count indictment:

  • Joel Diaz-Fernandez, aka "Joe," 47, of Mexico
  • Crecencio Silverio, aka "Chencho," 35, of Norcross, Georgia
  • Margarita Barragan-Velez, 27, of Norcross, Georgia
  • Marco Antonio Zagal-Garcia, aka "Toño," 27, of Mexico
  • William Muñoz, aka "Guillermo," 43, of Chicago
  • Jehu Aguilar-Hernandez, 34, of Atlanta
  • Israel Garcia-Gasper, 23, of Atlanta
  • Sean William Watkins, 43, of Miami
  • Francisco Quezada Del Pilar, aka "Frank," of Mexico
  • Rafael Vega-Diaz, aka "Rafa," 40, of Mexico
  • Shelton Lamar Edden, aka "Twin," 32, of Miami
  • Jermaine Daniels, aka "Maine," 30, of Miami Gardens
  • Morris Ulysses Moore, aka "Garbage," 43, of Miami Gardens
  • Brett Tyler Ayers, aka "Ty," 30, of Huntsville
  • Darrel Prenell Gibbs, aka "G," 50, of Orlando
  • Jerry Lee Johnson, aka "Bruh," 29, of Fort Myers
  • Victor Lawrence Drayton, aka "Old School," 54, of Miami
  • Jethro Pitts, aka "Uncle Jeth," 67, of Miami
  • Morris Perez Brown, aka "Mo," 43, of Miami Gardens
  • Tiffany Ebony Knights, 33, of Decatur, Georgia

Wayne Cox, 56, of Miami Gardens, who was arrested Jan. 19, also faces charges of dealing in firearms, being a felon in possession of a firearm and knowingly selling firearms to a convicted felon.

Timothy Brown, 37, of Liberty City, was arrested Jan. 19 and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Antonio Rossello, 41, of West Palm Beach, was arrested Jan. 20 and charged with unlicensed dealing in firearms, unlawful possession of a machine gun, possession of an unregistered firearm, unlawful transfer of a firearm and unlawful making of a firearm. 

Multiple police agencies assisted in the investigation and arrest of the defendants including, the DEA, the FBI, Miami-Dade Police Department, Miami Police Department, Miami Gardens Police Department and the North Miami Beach Police Department, among others.

Authorities said 17 fugitives remain at large. Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. 

About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.