Riverside man sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for trafficking pounds of methamphetamine from Mexico into Inland Empire


Date: May 6, 2024

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Riverside, CA — A Riverside County man who is the lead defendant in a criminal case involving an outfit that trafficked pound quantities of methamphetamine from Mexico into the Inland Empire was sentenced today to 252 months in federal prison.

Timoteo Gomez of Riverside, was sentenced by United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal. Gomez has been in federal custody since his June 2021 arrest in this case.

Gomez pleaded guilty in January 2022 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

From at least April 2020 until August 2020, Gomez and others purchased methamphetamine from their suppliers in Mexico as well as Los Angeles and Riverside counties. Other members of the conspiracy further distributed methamphetamine in the Inland Empire.

In April 2020, Gomez and others smuggled 46.6 pounds (21.2 kilograms) of methamphetamine from Mexico across the U.S. port of entry at Calexico and into Riverside County. In May 2020, another co-conspirator attempted to drive a load of 90.4 pounds (41 kilograms) of methamphetamine into the United States from Mexico through the San Ysidro port of entry.

In total, law enforcement seized more than 150 pounds (68 kilograms) of methamphetamine and $31,035 in cash during this investigation.

Federal prosecutors have secured 16 convictions so far in this case.

The FBI’s Inland Empire Safe Streets Task Force investigated this matter. The Task Force is a joint federal and state gang task force that includes the FBI; IRS Criminal Investigation (CI); the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department; and the Riverside Police Department. The FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force received assistance during the investigation from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the United States Marshals Service.

The investigation leading to these federal charges focused on the criminal activities of the Riverside-based Casa Blanca Rifa criminal street gang to combat drug trafficking and associated violence in Riverside and the surrounding community.

Assistant United States Attorney Eli A. Alcaraz of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section prosecuted this case.

CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS, responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, identity theft and more. CI special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, obtaining a more than a 90 percent federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 12 attaché posts abroad.