Judge upholds pretrial release of Santa Maria man accused of ‘overseeing’ meth lab in Oklahoma | Crime and Courts

ByTommie C. Curtis

Jun 1, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

An Oklahoma federal decide past month upheld a pretrial launch of a Santa Maria gentleman who is accused of “overseeing” a Tulsa lab utilised to manufacture and ship methamphetamine to several states in the southern U.S., in accordance to court docket files. 

U.S. District Choose Claire Eagan upheld the bail disorders established for Kevin Giovani Hernandez, 28, of Santa Maria, who is billed with three counts, which include conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and have with intent to distribute at the very least 500 grams of methamphetamine, in accordance to an get filed April 20 in the Northern District of Oklahoma. 

In addition, Hernandez is charged with keeping a drug-involved premises and drug conspiracy, which carries a necessary minimal sentence of 10 a long time or a greatest of lifestyle in jail.

Hernandez was one of 12 defendants indicted as section of the drug conspiracy on March 10. He pleaded not responsible to all fees on April 12, documents display. 

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Three people today have been accused of conspiracy and drug charges in connection to a Lompoc operation in which they distributed hashish and psilocybin mushrooms, which includes to Louisiana and to an undercover law enforcement officer in 2021, in accordance to a criminal complaint filed final thirty day period in Santa Barbara County Exceptional Courtroom.

Eagan issued the ruling immediately after prosecutors appealed a California federal justice of the peace judge’s buy to release Hernandez below specified disorders, offered the character of the fees and believing that he would flee to Mexico. 

The conditions incorporated a $20,000 visual appearance bond, but the California decide did not buy locale checking, in accordance to information. 

“[Hernandez] has nominal criminal historical past and has no former convictions or prices for drug or firearm offenses,” Eagan mentioned. “[Hernandez] has sturdy ties to the Central District of California in conditions of employment and familial relationships and he has resided in California his overall existence.” 

Hernandez, whose profession is mentioned as a chef at a Pismo Seaside restaurant, was arrested on a federal warrant March 29 immediately after he was determined in a joint investigation among the Tulsa Police Office and Drug Enforcement Administration as component of a drug trafficking procedure linked to Mexico, in accordance to data. 

The investigation began in September 2020, when Tulsa Police officers and DEA agents executed a search warrant at one of the organization’s conversion labs, which converts liquid methamphetamine to its crystalized variety. Eight far more lookup warrants had been done in March 2021 at locations around Oklahoma City, which includes at one particular in which shots have been fired at agents, in accordance to records. 

Courtroom records present Hernandez was discovered in January as a methamphetamine prepare dinner and “facilitator” for the drug trafficking group and that he flew from Santa Maria to oversee the Tulsa conversion lab. 

Through a February search warrant executed by the Tulsa Police Department and federal agents at a residence in the 5000 block of North Columbia Position in Tulsa, officials allegedly found elements earlier acquired by Hernandez and big quantities of methamphetamine. 

Immediately after generating entry into the home, law enforcement officers contacted Jorge Martinez and Jessica Oronoz-Hernandez, who explained to agents they arrived from Santa Maria to the home on Jan. 3, according to documents.

Martinez allegedly told investigators that a gentleman experienced occur to the lab from Mexico and taught him how to cook methamphetamine. He admitted to remaining compensated $5,000 to run the conversion lab, while Oronoz-Hernandez’s task was to thoroughly clean the pots and other lab tools, information exhibit. 

The liquid meth was allegedly transformed into its crystal sort by using the labs and dispersed to states that involved Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Ga and Tennessee.

A jury trial was tentatively scheduled for Sept. 12, with motions due by July 28 and responses because of by Aug. 11. A pretrial meeting also was scheduled for Aug. 25, before Eagan, at the U.S. Courthouse in Tulsa, according to data.

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