Feds Target Casa Blanca Rifa Street Gang In Riverside County

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A Riverside County man was sentenced this week to more than 20 years in federal prison. He is the 16th conviction in the investigation.

RIVERSIDE, CA — This week, a 51-year-old Riverside County man was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for his lead role in an operation that saw large quantities of methamphetamine trafficked from Mexico into the Inland Empire, prosecutors announced.

Timoteo Gomez, of Riverside, was sentenced Monday by United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal. He is the 16th conviction in the federal probe that targeted criminal activities of the Riverside-based Casa Blanca Rifa criminal street gang. According to prosecutors, the gang is responsible for drug trafficking and associated violence in Riverside and the surrounding community.

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 and distributed it across the Inland Empire, according to prosecutors.

The FBI’s Inland Empire Safe Streets Task Force led the investigation. (Shutterstock)

In April 2020, Gomez and others smuggled 46.6 pounds 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 90.4 pounds-load of methamphetamine into the United States from Mexico through the San Ysidro port of entry, prosecutors said.

“In total, law enforcement seized more than 150 pounds of methamphetamine and $31,035 in cash during this investigation,” according to the prosecutors.

Gomez has been in federal custody since his June 2021 arrest. He pleaded guilty in January 2022 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

The FBI’s Inland Empire Safe Streets Task Force, which includes the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS Criminal Investigation, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, and the Riverside Police Department, led the investigation into the operation.

During the investigation, the task force received assistance from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Marshals Service.

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