Former Director of International Liaison for the Baja California Attorney General’s Office in Custody Following a Guilty Plea for RICO Conspiracy

United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that today United States District Court Judge William Q. Hayes sentenced Jesus Quinonez-Marquez, the former Director of International Liaison for the Baja California Attorney General’s Office, to serve 97 months in custody following a guilty plea to participating in a federal racketeering (RICO) conspiracy. After completing his custodial sentence, Quinonez-Marquez will be deported to Mexico and placed on a three-year term of supervised release. In his plea agreement, Quinonez-Marquez admitted that he corruptly used his official position within the Baja California Attorney General’s Office to further the criminal activities of the criminal enterprise controlled by Fernando Sanchez-Arellano (the FSO). Specifically, Quinonez-Marquez admitted to using his position as a lawyer at the Attorney General’s Office to provide information to FSO members to avoid apprehension and prosecution for a double homicide which occurred in Tijuana, Mexico, on March 25, 2010, and to conspiring to launder $13 million dollars on behalf of the FSO.

To date, 39 defendants have been convicted in this case, which resulted from a long-term investigation conducted by the multi-agency San Diego Cross Border Violence Task Force (CBVTF). The CBVTF was formulated to target those individuals involved in organized crime-related violent activities affecting both the United States and Mexico. Law enforcement personnel assigned to the CBVTF made extensive use of court-authorized wiretaps and other sophisticated investigative techniques to develop the significant evidence which led to the charges in this case. The trial of the single remaining defendant, Armando Villareal Heredia, will likely be scheduled in 2013. The public is reminded that an indictment itself is not evidence that the defendant committed the crimes charged. The defendant is presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

United States Attorney Duffy praised the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) for the coordinated team effort in the culmination of this investigation, Operation Luz Verde. Agents and officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; San Diego Police Department; Drug Enforcement Administration; San Diego Sheriff’s Office; Chula Vista Police Department; U.S. Marshals Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; San Diego District Attorney’s Office; and California Department of Justice participated in this OCDETF investigation. The OCDETF program was created to consolidate and utilize all law enforcement resources in this country’s battle against organized crime and major drug trafficking organizations.

Case Number 10CR3044-WQH

Defendant
Jesus Quinones Marquez, aka Rinon

Summary of Charges
Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962(d)-conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity

Investigating Agencies
Federal Bureau of Investigation
San Diego Police Department
Drug Enforcement Administration
San Diego Sheriff’s Office
Chula Vista Police Department
U.S. Marshals Service
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
California Department of Justice-San Diego District Attorney’s Office