HomeRiverside County News24-year sentences for Riverside County brothers leading drug delivery operations in Southern...

24-year sentences for Riverside County brothers leading drug delivery operations in Southern California

Riverside, California – Prosecutors say that two brothers from Riverside County who ran a heroin delivery service and used code words like “taco” for phone orders will each spend 24 years in federal prison.

The brother, aged 45 and 46, are from Riverside

Julio Cesar Martinez, 45, from Riverside, and Victor Martinez, 46, were sentenced this week, on Monday. They had pleaded guilty in August to conspiring to distribute heroin, admitting they distributed over 29 kilograms (64 pounds) of it in Orange County, as per the U.S. attorney’s office statement.

Their operation, which ran from September 2003 to July 2021, involved selling heroin that was smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico. Couriers sometimes concealed the drug in their bodies, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

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The operation had call centers in workers’ homes to take orders using Mexican food names as code. A gram of heroin was referred to as a “taco” and an ounce (over 28 grams) as an “enchilada.”

The people in charge for “delivery” would then distribute the heroin and collect payments.

In 2016, one of the ring’s customers in Orange County died from a heroin overdose combined with other drugs, as stated by the prosecutors.

Other ring members deposited the money in bank accounts in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid federal reporting rules, according to the prosecutors.

U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada stated “These two brothers took drug dealing to another level by operating a heroin-delivery service that profited on the addiction and affliction of others. While they and their families lived lavishly, these defendants ignored the destruction they caused in our community. Today’s sentence sends a clear message that we will not stand for misconduct of this sort.”

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These brothers were part of a larger group targeted in “Operation Horse Caller,” a five-year federal effort to dismantle this drug ring.

To date, sixteen people have been convicted as a result of “Operation Horse Caller.”


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