Federal grand jury indicts 24 defendants on drug trafficking charges


Date: May 19, 2023

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado announces the indictment of twenty-four defendants in an alleged drug trafficking conspiracy. Specifically, a federal grand jury in Denver returned a superseding indictment charging the following individuals:

  • Cesar Octavio Vega Chacon, of Mexico
  • Jose Ezequiel Alvarado-Villarreal, of Mexico
  • Abymelec Alvarez-Miranda, of Mexico
  • Manuel Campos, of Mexico
  • Susana Elizabeth Carreno-Hernandez, of Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Alberto Cervantes-Salazar, of Aurora, Colorado
  • Luis Daniel Feliciano Dejesus, of Denver, Colorado
  • Uriel Flores, of Denver, Colorado
  • Jose Antonio Sanchez-Olmedo, of Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Victor Edel Sandoval-Portela, of Mexico
  • Leonel Villarreal-Olivas, of Mexico
  • Juan Demetrio Villapando, Jr., of Mexico
  • Jose Misael Alcaraz Cortez, of San Bernardino, California
  • Xiomara Faith Fabres, of Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Erasmo Franco-Gutierrez, location unknown
  • Yulissa Aleli Castaneda Medrano, of Mexico
  • Christian Mercado, location unknown
  • Jose Abel Otero-Correa, of Aurora, Colorado
  • Ian Michael Payne, Jr., of Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Stephanie Saavedra, of Littleton, Colorado, and
  • Juan Antonio Serrano-Lopez, of Denver, Colorado
  • Juan Demetrio Villalpando Dominguez, of West Covina, California

Two additional defendants identified by the nicknames "UM-5548" and "Ayon" are also included in the indictment, which was unsealed on May 9, 2023.

According to the allegations in the indictment, the defendants allegedly participated in a conspiracy to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl, more than 50 grams of methamphetamine (actual), 500 grams of a mixture of a substance containing methamphetamine, and a kilogram of heroin.

The indictment also alleges that Juan Demetrio Villalpando Jr., also known as "Junior," engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise as part of the conspiracy, along with other allegations, and that he occupied positions of organizer, supervisor and any position of management. The indictment alleges that certain members of the conspiracy arranged for funds derived from the drug distribution to be moved from Colorado to California. Among other things, funds were allegedly sent to Juan Demetrio Villalpando Dominguez in California for ultimate delivery to Juan Demetrio Villalpando Jr., in Mexico.

IRS-CI, the FBI, and ICE-ERO conducted the investigation in this case. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Cyrus Chung and Alexander Duncan.

This prosecution is a result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten communities throughout the United States. OCDETF uses a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

The charges in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.