The accused leader of a drug ring busted during Operation Trojan Horse in 2013 has sued both his former attorneys and members of the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office for alleged rights violations.
Jose Buenaventura Vinals, 53, filed suit May 4, 2016 in federal court in Medford alleging he was denied due process and a speedy trial and was subject to cruel and unusual punishment. He is seeking $12 million and the dismissal of his charges as well as a written apology from all defendants.
Newspaper a defendant
Accused in Vinals’ suit are his former defense attorneys Donald Scales and Phil Studenberg, District Attorney Rob Patridge and five current and former prosecutors, Judge Roxanne Osborne and the Herald and News’ reporting staff.
Vinals was charged May 15, 2013, with 11 felony counts including racketeering and delivery of methamphetamine. He was arrested as part of Operation Trojan Horse, a multi-agency sting aimed at busting a drug- and weapons-smuggling ring with connections to Mexican cartels.
Investigation of the ring began following the murders of Everado Mendez-Ceja, 32, of Richmond, Calif., and Ricardo Jauregui, 38, of Oakland, Calif., who were found shot to death near a burned-out pickup outside Bonanza Oct. 6, 2012.
Out of more than 50 suspects arrested during the sting, Vinals is the last accused leader of the ring to have his case adjudicated. He is scheduled for trial Aug. 1, 2016 and faces up to 130 years in prison.
In his suit, Vinals claims prosecutors, his defenders and Osborne denied him a speedy trial by giving him “false guidance.” On Nov. 13, 2015, Vinals pleaded guilty to three of his 11 counts and was told by Scales, his attorney at the time, prosecutors were likely to ask for 15 years in prison. Prosecutors then asked for 27 years and Scales told the court he unintentionally misled his client because of a misunderstanding of Oregon law.
Vinals was allowed to withdraw his plea and believes actions such as these by court officials have hindered his ability to receive a fair trial.
“The potential jury pool is now poisoned,” he said in his lawsuit.
Slander by the media
Vinals also claims media overage of his case has “slandered (his) name and defamed (his) character.” He insisted he was not responsible for the deaths of Mendez-Ceja and Jauregui, though he has not been charged with their murders.
He said he wants the results of an associated polygraph test published on the front page of the newspaper to exonerate him. His suit did not clearly state if the polygraph test has already taken place.
“I didn’t murder no one,” he said.
Vinals’ suit has been assigned to Judge Marco Hernandez and a future court date has yet to be scheduled. Vinals filed a notice with the court June 2 and said he was in the process of seeking an attorney to represent him.
Vinals additionally filed a motion in his criminal case Tuesday to disqualify Osborne on the grounds Osborne is biased against Vinals.
In a letter to Osborne filed the same day, Vinals claimed Osborne has a personal dislike of him and is unable to impartially try his case. According to a proposed order filed Wednesday, Osborne intends to deny Vinals’ motion."
OH THE TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE, WHEN OTHERS WE CHOOSE TO DECEIVE.
YOU ARE THE PEG UPON WHICH YOUR FAMILY'S HONOR HANGS.
Bad Tim Evinger was out.
New Sheriff Skrah was in. But he won't play old-guard ways...
Thank you anyway Sheriff Skrah. Old Mississippi style in So. Ore. is tough to integrate with.
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When the bad-sheriff Tim Evinger was OUT of office & had the world's worst car in that weather - -
More than a year after numerous people were arrested during Operation Trojan Horse, one major suspect has finally been taken into custody.
The operation involved more than 300 law enforcement officers from numerous local, state and federal agencies working together to arrest approximately 50 suspects May 15, 2013. The operation targeted methamphetamine and weapon suppliers within Klamath County.
Samuel Silva-Morelos, 31, was identified during the investigation leading up the bust as an alleged drug supplier to local meth operations.
Detective Eric Shepherd, Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, said Silva-Morelos was not picked up during the initial round of arrests because he did not have exact address at the time.
Shepherd said the suspect was living in Klamath County at the time of Operation Trojan Horse. He was allegedly operating out of the Merrill and Malin areas.
After May 16, Silva-Morelos “just kind of disappeared. It turns out he was in Mexico,” Shepherd said.
Silva-Morelos was arrested Wednesday when he applied for admission into the U.S. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. The port is the primary land border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego.
Silva-Morelos told officials he was heading to Los Angeles.
Investigators with the Medford division of Homeland Security Investigations were notified of his attempted entry. At that point, Det. Shepherd was contacted to help identify Silva-Morelos as a wanted man out of Klamath County.
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The Medford office confirmed the suspect’s identity and asked Customs and Border Protection to book him into the San Diego jail on the warrant for racketeering and drug charges.
Silva-Morelos was booked into the San Diego Central Jail on a fugitive from arrest warrant Wednesday. His bail bond was set at $5,025,000. As of Thursday, he was being held without bail.
Shepherd said Silva-Morelos should be transported to Klamath County in the near future to be booked into the local jail and to face prosecution.
The last major suspect
Shepherd said Silva-Morelos seems to be the last major player identified as part of Operation Trojan Horse who has evaded capture.
“This is the last major guy that was kind of elusive.”
It is unclear why Silva-Morelos decided to return to the U.S. Shepherd speculated that he did not realize a warrant was out for his arrest, but that has not been confirmed.
The detective noted the cooperation between border agents, Homeland Security and the KCSO was crucial in the arrest. He said criminals such as drug suppliers have the means to move around the world freely, making inter-agency communication critical.
“We live in a global environment now,” Shepherd said.
As for other Operation Trojan Horse cases, four suspects pleaded guilty to racketeering and drug charges in late July.
The three alleged ringleaders (Jose Buenaventura Vinals, Derek Ortega-Gonzalez and Maria Caceras) are set to go to trial in October and December. "
Beware the Trojan Horse. Both sides of the fence.
Tim Evinger off to South America. Good riddance.
Who flicked the BIC ?
Who lit the match?
When they want you, if they want you, they will get you. Otherwise Dog & Beth do it.
Investigation into Lopez, and eventually Vinals, began following the discovery of the remains of Everado Mendez-Ceja, 32, of Richmond, Calif., and Ricardo Jauregui, 38, of Oakland, Calif., who were found shot to death outside Bonanza Oct. 6, 2012. Lopez was identified as the suspect and Vinals was contacted because of his association with the property where the bodies were found, according to Shepherd, though this connection was not detailed. Shepherd did say, at the time of the killing, Vinals and Lopez were speculating property for a potential illegal marijuana grow.
Shepherd said Vinals became a confidential informant in order to gather evidence against Lopez, however Vinals allegedly continued to sell methamphetamine to local dealers in violation of his confidential informant agreement. After controlled drug buys and surveillance including video, text messages and phone calls, authorities amassed evidence against Vinals. On May 15, 2013, more than 300 members of law enforcement served warrants at 22 locations throughout Klamath County and arrested more than 50 members of Vinals' alleged drug ring, including Vinals.
The defendant has denied wrongdoing, however he accepted a plea deal in 2015 and pleaded guilty to racketeering and possession of methamphetamine. When the proposed sentence was greater than Vinals' had expected after being misinformed by his attorney, Vinals was allowed to withdraw his plea and proceeded to trial.
The leader of the drug ring busted during
Operation Trojan Horse
in 2013 has been sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison after he was convicted by a jury last month.
Jose Buenaventura Vinals, 54, was sentenced to 200 months in prison for charges including racketeering and delivery of methamphetamine for operating a drug ring responsible for distributing large quantities of methamphetamine locally.
Though Vinals claimed he was a low-level dealer, prosecutors were able to prove he purchased methamphetamine from Mexican cartels and sold to local distributors.
Vinals was investigated for drug crimes following the murders of Everado Mendez-Ceja, 32, and Ricardo Jauregui, 38, who were found dead Oct. 6, 2012, near Bonanza.
Joaquin Lopez was suspected of the murders and Vinals, an associate of Lopez, was contacted as a confidential informant.
At the time of Vinals’ conviction, Lopez is still wanted locally for murder and has fled jurisdiction "
While under surveillance, investigators learned Vinals was operating the drug ring and coordinated a multi-agency sting that resulted in indictments of more than 50 suspects and warrants served May 15, 2013, at 22 locations throughout Klamath County.
Vinals was the last high-level offender to be convicted, though other offenders have since been arrested on new charges.
Matthew Ray Hargrove, 37, was arrested for methamphetamine possession during the 2013 sting and, on March 6, pleaded guilty to allegations he set up his own meth ring in Klamath Falls.
Hargrove was sentenced to 64 months in prison for felon in possession of a firearm, delivery of methamphetamine and delivery of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school and was ordered to undergo treatment for meth addiction while incarcerated. "
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What could be worth 17 years or life without parole
(Dave's killers will get that)
Habla mucho late night on the phone with Talent Hispanics?
Es muy malo y muy muy malo.