OMAHA, Neb. – The United States’ Attorney’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Omaha Police Department announced today four defendants have been charged with federal crimes following a five month undercover investigation. The announcement follows the defendants’ initial appearances today in U.S. District Court.
Three of the defendants were charged in a seven count indictment. Manuel Menchaca, also known as “Jose Hector Rodriguez” and “Rooster”, age 36; Jorge Montejano, also known as “El Paso”, age 31; and Francisco Sanchez-Gastelum, also known as “Poncho”, age 40, were charged with distribution of methamphetamine and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Menchaca and Montejano were also indicted on three counts of being felons in possession of firearms. Jamie Cedillo, age 35, was charged in a separate one count indictment for being a felon in possession of firearms. During the undercover investigation, investigators purchased or seized a total of six firearms and over 4 ½ pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of over $110,000. The six firearms include a Norinco, Model SKS, 7.62 caliber rifle; a Hi Point, Model 995, 9mm caliber rifle; and two Glock pistols.
The investigation was a joint effort between ATF and the Omaha Police Department’s Narcotics Unit. The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.