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News / Northwest

34 charged in Eastern WA cockfighting, drugs, money laundering ring linked to prison gang

By Tri-City Herald
Published: April 19, 2024, 7:36am

KENNEWICK — Thirty-four people have been indicted in an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation focused on Eastern Washington.

They are accused of criminal conspiracy involving illegal drugs, firearms, money laundering, cockfighting and attempts to kill witnesses who helped law enforcement in the investigation, according to the Eastern Washington District U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The investigation that began in about 2018 focused on Yakima County, Walla Walla County, the Yakama reservation and Spokane County. Operations also extended into Louisiana, Colorado and Arkansas.

The indictments were announced Thursday in Yakima after 20 search warrants were executed that morning in the Yakima area and across the United States, said Eastern Washington U.S. Attorney Vanessa Waldref.

Law enforcement seized hundreds of roosters from locations in Zillah and Outlook in Yakima County that allegedly were used in cockfights. Most of the roosters are being sent for care to Heartwood Haven Animal Rescue in Roy, Wash.

Law enforcement also seized 37 guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, more than 8,000 fentanyl-laced pills, and pound quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine, according to the Eastern Washington District U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The investigation into La Nuestra Familia, a violent prison gang responsible for trafficking drugs, was led by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Some of the gang’s leaders are serving life sentences in the federal prison in Florence, Colo., which is one of the Bureau of Prisons’ most secure prisons, exceeding that of a regular maximum-security prison, according to the Eastern Washington District U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Indictments for drugs, cockfighting, more

Those indicted include:

  • Fabian Arredondo aka “DV,” 34, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances and Conspiracy to Launder Money.
  • Joanna Arredondo, 34, charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Jose Alfredo Chavez Arredondo aka “Cuyi,” 43, charged with Continuing Criminal Enterprise, Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl, Distribution of Cocaine, Conspiracy to Launder Money, Unlawful Animal Fighting
  • Jose Alfredo Ricardo Arredondo aka “Papaz,” 25, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, Distribution of Cocaine, Unlawful Possession of a Machine gun
  • Alexa Joann Carras-Blackburn, 35, charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Pablo Angel Castellon aka “Sapo,” 40, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Mayda Ivette Castellon, 36, charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Jacenir Amezcua Dasilva aka “Serio,” 30, charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money, Attempt to Retaliate Against a Federal Witness, Conspiracy to Retaliate Against a Federal Witness
  • Marco Anthony Gomez, Jr. aka “Silky,” 45, charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Rigoberto Escobedo Gonzalez aka “Crazy Thugg,” 35, charged with Continuing Criminal Enterprise, Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Distribution of Cocaine, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Robert Patrick Hanrahan aka “Bubba,” 52, charged with Continuing Criminal Enterprise, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Jazmine Renea Hart, 32, charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Maria Esperanza Hermoso, 28, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Adrean Kendall Lafollette aka “Hunger,” 33, charged with Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Travis Michael Mcguire aka “Slim,” 49, charged with Continuing Criminal Enterprise, Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Conspiracy to Unlawfully Use a Communication Facility, Attempted Possession with Intent to Distribute 40 Grams or More of Fentanyl, Attempted Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Jesus Antonio Mirelez a/k/a “Dizzy,” 34, Conspiracy to Launder Money, Felon in Possession of a Firearm
  • Felipe Feliciano Ramirez a/k/a “Casper,” 44, charged with Conspiracy to Unlawfully Use a Communications Facility, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Logan Paul Scheck a/k/a “Sin,” 31, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Brian Lee Sellers, 62, charged with Conspiracy to Unlawfully Use a Communications Facility, Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Misael Vazquez-Moreno, 26, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl
  • Fernando Villegas, 25, charged with Unlawful Animal Fighting
  • Thomas Lee Weatherwax aka “Wax,” 25, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances, Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Yesika Escobedo Zaragoza, 40, charged with Conspiracy to Money Launder
  • Arthur Frank Cardenas aka “Porkchop,” 45, charged with Attempt to Retaliate Against a Federal Witness, Conspiracy to Retaliate Against a Federal Witness
  • Joshua Isaac Stine aka “Heat,” 39, charged with Attempt to Retaliate Against a Federal Witness, Conspiracy to Retaliate Against a Federal Witness
  • Hugo Enrique Davadi aka “Flako,” 36, charged with Distribution of 40 Grams or More of Fentanyl

Additional arrests are expected following the Thursday searches. More indictments are expected to be unsealed after those arrests are made. Twenty-eight people were in state or federal custody Thursday.

AFT was assisted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S Marshals Service, U.S. Border Patrol, Federal Bureau of Prisons, ICE Enforcement Removal Operations, Washington State Patrol, Washington State Department of Corrections, Washington State Gambling Commission, Yakima and Spokane counties sheriff’s offices, Walla Walla Regional Drug Task Force, and the police departments of Yakima, Grandview, Selah and Spokane.

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