Written by AARON CASTREJON
LOS ANGELES - The suspect who pleaded guilty to his part in a drug trafficking conspiracy and to money laundering was sentenced to a mere 63 months in prison.
Mexican national Edgar Limon, 39, was also ordered to pay a $17,500 fine for his involvement in an international narcotics network that transported 21 pounds of pure methamphetamine across the border with Mexico on behalf of a group linked to the Sinaloa Cartel, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Limon, the last of 22 suspects named in a 19-count indictment, pleaded guilty July 17, 2019. He is one of nine that were taken into custody pursuant to the unsealed 2017 indictment and the last of those to be sentenced. The other eight received 135-month sentences.
Five other suspects, including Limon’s brother and lead suspect Jeuri Limon Elenes, remain fugitives and may be hiding in Mexico, the DOJ said.
The case was the result of a two-year wiretap investigation by the Los Angeles Strike Force, comprised of members from the FBI, DEA, IRS Criminal Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Marshal Service and the Azusa Police Department.
The scheme involved the import of hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin into the U.S. The drugs were distributed through a network of Sinaloa Cartel associates. The domestic revenue was funneled back to Mexico, the DOJ said.
The drugs were stored in stash houses across the San Gabriel Valley. Limon was in charge of one of those locations.
From June 2014 to April 2016, Limon and his fellow traffickers had an agreement to distribute and process with intent to distribute, methamphetamine in the LA area.
Two of these stash houses where Limon hid drugs were in El Monte and Azusa. The latter served as a distribution point for methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine, the DOJ said.
The Los Angeles Strike Force seized 290 pounds of methamphetamine, 280 pounds of cocaine, 30 pounds of heroin, and 81 pounds of marijuana — a $6 million street value, the DOJ said.
Limon and his fellow traffickers also conducted financial transactions in ways that concealed their illegal origins in drug trafficking, the DOJ said.
Limon’s mother and cousin were charged and sentenced to 87 months in federal prison.
The Los Angeles Strike Force was formed in 2014 to combat the use of the Los Angeles metro area as a hub for drug distribution across the US by Mexican cartels. The Strike Force seeks to target high-level traffickers, disrupt and dismantle drug distribution networks and money laundering activities and arrest and prosecute cartel leaders and operatives, the DOJ said.
Written by AARON CASTREJON
LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office prosecutors announced 66,000 marijuana convictions in Los Angeles County will be dismissed as part of an effort to promote criminal justice reform.
The convictions, dating back to 1961, will be dismissed as part of a partnership with Code for America which implemented the Clear My Record pilot program to clear convictions in five California counties: San Francisco County, Contra Costa County, Sacramento County, San Joaquin County and Los Angeles County.
62,000 of those were felony convictions. 4,000 were misdemeanors, with cases filed in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Torrance, Pasadena, Inglewood, Burbank, Santa Monica, Hawthorne, Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach.
The convictions were eligible for relief under Prop 64, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which was passed by the majority of voters November 8, 2016.
“The dismissal of tens of thousands of old cannabis-related convictions in Los Angeles County will bring much needed relief to communities of color that disproportionately suffered the unjust consequences of our nation’s drug laws,” said Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
In total, more than 85,000 marijuana convictions were dismissed and sealed across the five counties, according to Evonne Silva, senior program director of criminal justice at Code for America.
“This is a clear demonstration that automatic record clearance is possible at scale and can help right the wrongs of the failed war on drugs,” Silva said.
53,000 people will receive conviction relief through this partnership. Of those, approximately 32 percent are Black or African American, 20 percent are White, 45 percent are Latinx, and 3 percent are other or unknown, the District Attorney’s Office said.
Under AB 1793, those with prior convictions for cannabis-related crimes will not be required to petition the court for redesignation or dismissal. The Department of Justice was required to review cases and identify convictions eligible for redesignation or dismissal by July 1, 2020.
The bill then requires the courts to automatically redesignate or dismiss convictions by July 1, 2020.
“The Clear My Record Application allows District Attorneys to securely and accurately evaluate eligibility for convictions by reading and interpreting criminal history data from the California Department of Justice,” the District Attorney’s Office said.
To find out if your record has been cleared, or for more information about this initiative, contact the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office by phone at 323-760-6763 or visit pubdef.lacounty.gov.