The District Attorney’s Narcotics Division prosecutes illegal drug-related offenses, in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies. In 2017, Chief Terri Perez and Assistant Chief Stacey McReynolds led the division. In addition, the division assists law enforcement officers in preparing and reviewing search and arrest warrants. We also assist with various investigative issues and help law enforcement with projects in high-crime areas as well as handle state asset forfeiture matters.
Notable prosecutions during the year included:
Operation Sleek Greek – People v. Donald Levy, et. al.
In this case, a money laundering organization laundered about $10 million a year in illicit cash into Mexico. The Office of International Affairs at Department of Justice Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty request for the Mexican government to verify documents recovered from. Deputy DA Christina Eastman prepared extradition affidavits for a provisional arrest warrant to extradite Donald Levy from Mexico. Defendant Olmedo pleaded guilty to multiple counts of money laundering and possession of narcotics proceeds. They were sentenced to eight years in state prison.
People v. Hanny Awad
Through a search warrant, defendant Hanny Awad was found with a significant amount of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, barbiturates, 1,055 oxy pills, 1,384 Adderall pills, 800 Xanax pills, more than $7,300 cash, two loaded handguns, ammunition for three types of guns, a money counting machine, packaging, three cell phones, computers, Glock pistol parts, and a high capacity magazine. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 11 years in state prison.
People v. Alexander Lolis
In three separate cases, convicted felon Alexander Lolis possessed over a pound of methamphetamine and multiple guns. Each case resolved in guilty pleas. Lolis was sentenced to eight years in prison.
People v. James Coon
James Coon was manufacturing butane honey oil in a crowded single-family residence, occupied by multiple people, including his disabled 92-year-old mother. After a guilty verdict, he was sentenced to eight years in local prison.
People v. Carlos Videl
Defendant Carlos Videl arranged to buy one and a half pounds of marijuana from four victims, intending to rob them. Two of the victims drove to the intended location of the transaction, where the defendant and his companion carjacked them at gun point. The four drove to a nearby gas station where two additional victims had the marijuana. The defendant ordered another victim into the car at gunpoint. The victim broke away and jumped into the fourth victim’s vehicle and fled. Videl fired his gun at that vehicle, pursued it and ultimately crashed. The initial two victims were able to escape. Even though the victims were engaged in criminal behavior and had criminal histories, the jury convicted the defendant on all charges and allegations. Videl was sentenced to 87 years and four months in prison.
People v. Jose Daniel
In this case, what started as a stop for a traffic violation ended with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office finding 12 kilos of narcotics including cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl. The defendant admitted he was being paid $5,000 to drive the car from Tijuana to Los Angeles. The jury convicted the Daniel on all charges plus weight enhancements. He was sentenced to probation and his eight-year prison sentence was stayed.
People v. Thomas Delano
Thomas Delano was caught with nearly 43 pounds of methamphetamine in his gas tank at the U.S.-Mexico border. The defendant, who had a criminal record in three states, had been searching on his phone for how to cook meth as well as the number of people arrested at border. He also provided an Oregon ID with his photo, but a false name. He was convicted of charges and allegations and sentenced to 14 years and four months with a split of 10 years in custody and four years of mandatory supervision.
People v. Rosa Foster
After a traffic stop, police officers found about 20 kilos of methamphetamine in a compartment hidden under Rosa Foster’s front seats. The prosecution overcame a “blind mule” defense and a jury convicted her of all charges and allegations. She was sentenced to 12 years in local prison with a split sentence of four years in custody and eight years of mandatory supervision.