Ten defendants in a cocaine trafficking ring were indicted by a grand jury in San Luis Obispo this week, according to a press release from the district attorney's office.
The initial arrests were made earlier this month following a 9-month investigation in what sheriff's officials called the largest cocaine arrests in recent history. During a press conference about the arrests, the Sheriff’s Office displayed the approximately 5 kilograms of cocaine — with an estimated street value of $200,000 — and several semi-automatic rifles, handguns and ammunition confiscated during searches carried out between Aug. 5 and 7.
Those charged include Chase Michael Hanson, 25; Dane James Bennett, 26; Jonathan David Byham, 26; Alexander John Getzbouchillon, 23; Sawyer Scott Sacket, 18; Jason Vidal Sianez, 27, Alexander Allan Matarese, 31, Joseph Arch Messineo, 39, Johnnie James Medina, 27; and Zachary Benjamin Silver, 28.
Silver is currently at large, and a $1 million arrest warrant has been issued for him. The nine other defendants are currently at county jail on $1 million bail.
The indictment on the ten suspects was issued Wednesday, alleging conspiracy to sell or transport cocaine and possess cocaine for sale; two counts of transportation or sale of cocaine; two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon (for Hanson and Bennett); and five counts of possession of cocaine for sale by individual defendants. An enhancement was added to Hanson's charges for having a prior prison term, and all defendants face enhancements for quantities of cocaine exceeding 4 kilograms.
The defendants are set to appear in San Luis Obispo Superior Court Sept. 28 for a pre-trial conference.