AG Wilson announces arrests made through “Los Banditos” investigation into drug trafficking through restaurant in Greenville

Screen Shot 2022 05 18 At 13031 Pm

AG Wilson announces indictments issued in “Los Banditos” drug trafficking investigation.
Image: Austin Page/ABC Columbia

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– A drug ring known as “Los Banditos” has been busted and over 30 people will face numerous charges, according to the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office. At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a state grand jury issued indictments against 34 defendants who they claim are associated with Mexican cartels.

Wilson says the drug trafficking ring was run by owners of the Los Primos restaurant in Greenville. According to investigators, the drugs were allegedly trafficked throughout the state but mostly in the Upstate.

“The Attorney General’s Office and SLED are committed to fight the corrosive effect drug trafficking has on our communities,” Attorney General Wilson said.  “This investigation is yet another example of aggressive use of the State Grand Jury and investigative techniques to combat gangs and drug trafficking.  Just as important, it is a further example of our use of the State Grand Jury to partner state prosecutorial and law enforcement resources with county, local, and federal agencies,” he added.  “The cooperation with our Upstate partners – both local and federal – was particularly successful in this case, and this Office looks forward to continuing to synch its efforts with the hard work and expertise of all the agencies involved”

To date, officials say the “Los Banditos” investigation has seized nearly 24 pounds of meth and over 500 grams of cocaine, along with more than 20 firearms and $63,000 in cash.

Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins said, “This was a very large scale organized drug operation that allegedly was trafficking kilograms of drugs every week into Greenville County.  The hard work and dedication of the Greenville Drug Enforcement Unit, SLED, and the South Carolina State Grand Jury has significantly decreased the availability of drugs in the Greenville Community and arrested some of its worst drug dealers.  While this organization has ties from Mexico to numerous cities in the United States, its drug trafficking efforts and locations in Greenville County were continuing to pump poison directly into our communities.  This is a great win for the citizens of Greenville County and these numerous arrests will have an immediate and direct impact upon the citizens of Greenville County and neighboring Counties.”

Authorities say 34 people face charges in connection with this investigation:

  • Esteban A. Deleon-Avilia
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Cocaine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
  • James Andrew Addy
    • Trafficking Cocaine 10-28 Grams
    • Possession with intent to Distribution of Methamphetamine
  • Jamie Gonzalez-Blanca
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 200-400 Grams
  • Arianna Green Del Bois
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Cocaine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
  • Michael Medina Gomez
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine 28-100 Grams
      • 3 counts
    • Possession of Methamphetamine
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine10-28 Grams
    • Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana
    • Driving under Suspension
    • Possession with intent to Distribution of Methamphetamine
  • Ruben Medina Gomez
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More
  • Bartolo Zavala Gonzalez , AKA “Tulon”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Cocaine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Cocaine 10-28 Grams
  • Gustavo Avalos Gonzales, AKA “Perro”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine10-28 Grams
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 100-200 Grams
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 100-200 Grams
    • Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Violent Felony
  • Isidro Zavala Gonzalez, AKA “Chilo”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Cocaine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Cocaine 10-28 Grams
      • 2 counts
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine10-28 Grams
      • 3 counts
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 200-400 Grams
      • 2 counts
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 100-200 Grams
      • 2 counts
  • Fabian Zavala Hernandez, AKA “Junior”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Cocaine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Possession with intent to Distribution of Methamphetamine
    • Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 100-200 Grams
  • Reyes Sanchez-Hernandez, AKA “Bimbo”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Cocaine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine
  • Amanda Lynn Howard
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
  • Jonathan David Looney
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More
      • 2 counts
    • Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana
    • Possession of a Controlled Substance (Schedule II)
    • Possession of a Controlled Substance (Schedule III)
    • Possession of a Controlled Substance (Schedule IV)
    • Unlawful Carry of a Pistol
    • Possession of Stolen Handgun
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More
    • Possession of Cocaine
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 28-100 Grams
  • Romeo Escalante Lopez
    • Trafficking Cocaine 10-28 Grams
  • Juan Carlos Becerra-Manjierrez
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Cocaine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More
      • 3 counts
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 28-100 Grams
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 100-200 Grams
    • Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine
  • Damien Rogelio Rivera Duran Martine, AKA “Rojo”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
  • Joseph Matthew McClure
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
  • John Guadalupe Medellin
    • Trafficking Cocaine 10-28 Grams
    • Possession with intent to Distribution of Methamphetamine
    • Simple Possession of Marijuana
    • Misuse of License Plate
  • Anastasia Reynoso, AKA “Anna”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 200-400 Grams
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 28-100 Grams
  • Bernice June Robertson
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Possession of Methamphetamine
    • Public Disorderly Conduct
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More
  • Edvardo Royin, AKA “Pata de Palo”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 100-200 Grams
  • Carlos Gabriel Torres Santiago
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine10-28 Grams
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 100-200 Grams
      • 2 counts
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 100-200 Grams
    • Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Violent Felony
    • Driving Under Suspension
    • Reckless Driving
    • Failure to Stop for Blue Light
    • Resisting Arrest
  • Alejandro Lagunas-Soto, AKA “Happy”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
  • Maria L. Soto, AKA “Junior”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 100-200 Grams
      • 2 counts
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 200-400 Grams
  • Jesus Tirador Jr., AKA “Zeus”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 100-200 Grams
    • Possession of a Controlled Substance (Schedule II)
    • Unlawful Carry of a Pistol
    • Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Violent Felony
  • Timothy Alvin Turner, AKA “Spooky”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 28-100 Grams
    • Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin
    • Driving under Suspension
    • Receiving Stolen Goods Less than $2000
  • Pedro Cuevas Villanueva, AKA “Perriquin”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Cocaine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 28-100 Grams
  • Kirsten Rosalynne Williams
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
      • 2 counts
  • FNU LNU, AKA “Chascua”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Cocaine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
  • FNU LNU, AKA “Pedro Hernandez,” “Guacho” and “Amigo”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
  • FNU LNU, AKA “Gonzalez Irias” and “Santos Rufino”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
  • FNU LNU, AKA “Marisela Macias” and “Mercado”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
  • FNU LNU “Jhonatan Zazueta Ruiz”
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Cocaine, 400 Grams or More (Conspiracy)
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 28-100 Grams
    • Trafficking Methamphetamine, 400 Grams or More
      • 2 counts
    • Possession with intent Distribute Cocaine
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