Two plead guilty to crimes uncovered by Operation Garlic Press

Adrian Gamino, 31, of Morgan Hill, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine, one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute methamphetamine and one count of pos

Two suspects detained during the five county-wide sweep spearheaded in Gilroy – coined Operation Garlic Press – pleaded guilty in federal court in San Jose to charges stemming from a multi-agency, law enforcement initiative, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said Wednesday.

Miguel Gonzalez, 37, of Salinas, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute methamphetamine; two counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine and one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine.

Adrian Gamino, 31, of Morgan Hill, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine, one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine and agreed to forfeit his 2006 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and $4,862 to the government.

Both defendants face mandatory minimum prison sentences of 20 years, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release.

In March 2010, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began the undercover operation with the Gilroy Police Department and the California Highway Patrol, targeting individuals who commit violent criminal acts, including gang members. The investigation focused on individuals operating in the California counties of Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito. Prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office and the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office, working together, charged a total of 118 defendants, many of whom were arrested in October during a five county sweep. 

Among the contraband seized were 86 vehicles; 52 firearms (including several sawed off shotguns, stolen firearms, and firearms with obliterated serial numbers) and methamphetamine with a street value of more than $100,000.

To date, 46 defendants have been charged federally. Gonzalez and Gamino are the first two to plead guilty and remain in federal custody.

They are next scheduled to appear before United States District Court Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose on March 7 for sentencing.

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