Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Philip R. Bartlett, Inspector in Charge of the New York Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (“USPIS”), Ari C. Shapira, Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”), and Robert A. Bourbon, Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Field Office of the United States Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General (“DOJ OIG”), announced the unsealing today of an Indictment charging DEA agent FERNANDO GOMEZ for his participation in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and his possession of firearms, and aiding and abetting the possession of firearms, in furtherance of that drug conspiracy. GOMEZ was arrested this morning in Chicago and will be presented Magistrate Judge Susan E. Cox in the Northern District of Illinois this afternoon.
As alleged in the Superseding Indictment, GOMEZ, while working as a detective with the City of Evanston Police Department in Illinois, obtained firearms from drug dealers, transported those firearms to Puerto Rico, and provided those firearms to Jose Martinez-Diaz, a/k/a “Tony Zinc,” who is also charged in the Superseding Indictment. GOMEZ then joined the DEA so that he could help members of the narcotics conspiracy, including Martinez-Diaz, evade prosecution by law enforcement.
Martinez-Diaz was previously charged for his participation in La Organizacion de Narcotraficantes Unidos (“La ONU”), a racketeering enterprise involved in drug dealing and murders. Eight other members of La ONU were also charged with various racketeering, drug trafficking, murder, and firearms offenses. In addition to the charges against GOMEZ, the Superseding Indictment contains charges that had previously been brought against Martinez-Diaz and the eight other defendants. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Fernando Gomez is a special agent of the DEA, an organization committed to upholding the nation’s drug laws and relentless in its pursuit of narcotics traffickers. But as alleged, Gomez joined the DEA to betray those laws, and to help narcotics traffickers evade detection by law enforcement. He will now be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
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FERNANDO GOMEZ, 41, of Chicago, Illinois, is charged in the Superseding Indictment with one count of participating in a narcotics conspiracy involving the distribution of five kilograms or more of cocaine, and one count of using and carrying firearms during and in relation to the narcotics conspiracy, possessing firearms in furtherance of the narcotics conspiracy, and aiding and abetting and the possession of firearms, some of which were brandished and discharged. GOMEZ faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of USPIS, DEA, ATF, DOJ OIG, and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Jordan Estes, Andrew Thomas, and Lara Pomerantz are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Superseding Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.