Hector Diaz Complaint Affidavit

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Federal authorities seized five assault-style rifles, five handguns, a shotgun and a "large cache of ammunition" during a search last week of a home in connection with a major raid on medical-marijuana businesses in the Denver metro area, according to a court document unsealed Monday, November, 25, 2013.
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  • 1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF COLORADO Case Number: CRIMINAL COMPLAINT IN RE: HECTOR DIAZ a/k/a Hector Diaz-Martinez a/k/a Hector Josue Diaz-Martinez a/k/a Hector J. Diaz-Martinez AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF CRIMINAL COMPLAINT INTRODUCTION Your Affiant, being duly sworn, does depose and state the following: I, Charles R. Olachea, am a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), United States Department of Justice, and have been so employed for approximately 26 years conducting drug investigations. Specifically, I have initiated, developed and participated in a variety of investigations over the years that have included the following: Title III interceptions, complex conspiracy cases, undercover operations, marijuana cultivation, clandestine methamphetamine manufacturing, money laundering and interdiction operations. Many of these investigations have also involved firearms. Accordingly, I have attended numerous training courses pertaining to the above-listed drug investigations and have debriefed numerous defendants and confidential sources knowledgeable in the indoor cultivation of marijuana and the use of hydroponics equipment to facilitate the aforementioned cultivation. Furthermore, the information set forth herein is based upon the following: (1) the affiant’s training, professional education, and experience; (2) the affiant’s participation in the investigation; (3) the affiant’s discussions with other federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel familiar Case 1:13-mj-01165-MEH Document 1-1 Filed 11/22/13 USDC Colorado Page 1 of 8
  • 2 with the investigation; (4) the affiant’s review of reports and other documents prepared by federal, state, and local law enforcement officers; and (5) physical and electronic surveillance conducted by federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies, which has been reported to the affiant either directly or indirectly. Facts not set forth herein are not being relied upon in reaching my conclusion that a complaint should issue. In addition, your affiant does not request that the Court rely on any facts not set forth herein in reviewing this affidavit. NATURE OF VIOLATION Your affiant submits that this affidavit sets forth probable cause to believe that the defendant, Hector DIAZ, has violated Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(5)(B): Possession of a Firearm, to wit: a Smith and Wesson M&P-15, 5.56mm semi-automatic rifle bearing serial number SP 52534, by an Alien who is present in the United States under a non- immigrant visa (as defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act, Title 8, United States Code, Section 1101(a)(26)). BACKGROUND On November 21, 2013, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, in partnership with several state and local law enforcement agencies in the District of Colorado, executed approximately 15 federal search warrants pursuant to an ongoing investigation. One of those warrants was executed at 52 Sedgwick Drive, Arapahoe County, Colorado. Prior to the execution of that warrant, agents had previously come into possession of e-mail communications involving a person identified herein as Co-conspirator #1. Your affiant viewed one specific e-mail related to that account, dated February 14, 2013. That e-mail contained a photo of an individual subsequently identified as Hector DIAZ. Metadata contained within the attached photograph file indicates that it Case 1:13-mj-01165-MEH Document 1-1 Filed 11/22/13 USDC Colorado Page 2 of 8
  • 3 was taken on February 7, 2013. In the photo, DIAZ is shown wearing a DEA baseball cap and holding up two authentic-looking semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines, one in each hand. Diaz also appears to have two additional handguns stuck inside the front of his pants. The aforementioned photo depicts DIAZ in possession of all four weapons while standing in a room with a fireplace and furnishings. This photo was later compared to a photo found on an Internet real estate web site called Zillow.com regarding the property at 52 Sedgwick Drive, Arapahoe County, Colorado. The Zillow photo depicting the interior of the house at 52 Sedgwick Drive confirmed to your affiant that the photo of DIAZ displaying the four weapons was taken inside 52 Sedgwick Drive, Arapahoe County, Colorado. The photo is affixed hereto as Attachment A. When the warrant was executed on November 21, 2013, agents conducting the initial sweep of the premises observed one occupant holding a loaded firearm which was later secured after the occupant was subdued. The security sweep also found the house to contain the following weapons, most of which were loaded: 5 assault rifles, one shotgun and 5 handguns. Included within those weapons was a Smith and Wesson M&P-15, 5.56mm semi-automatic rifle bearing serial number SP 52534; that weapon is consistent with the rifle which DIAZ is holding in his right hand, as depicted in the photograph. (A detachable after-market grip pod appeared to have been removed subsequent to the photograph, however the appearance of the weapon was otherwise consistent). The residence also contained thousands of rounds of assorted ammunition. Hector DIAZ was present in the residence when the warrant was executed. His appearance is consistent with the individual depicted in Attachment A. The investigation has revealed that Hector DIAZ is a Colombian citizen who has been granted entry into the United States on prior occasions by using his non-immigrant, work/tourist visa also known as a B1/B2 visa. Information provided by the United States Department of State Case 1:13-mj-01165-MEH Document 1-1 Filed 11/22/13 USDC Colorado Page 3 of 8
  • 4 revealed that DIAZ visited the United States on February 6, 2013, and stayed for seven days. This information corroborates the belief that DIAZ was at 52 Sedgwick Drive when the aforementioned photograph was taken of him on February 7, 2013. Furthermore, your affiant believes that DIAZ’s actions, as depicted in the photograph, constitute a violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922 (g) (possession of a firearm in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce by an alien who has been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa). DIAZ spoke with agents subsequent to the November 21, 2013 execution of the warrants. Specifically, DIAZ was questioned regarding his prior and present visits to the United States. Agents determined that DIAZ was currently in the United States pursuant to the B1/B2 visa. Additionally, DIAZ was asked if he had ever possessed a weapon while in the United States and/or Colorado. DIAZ stated that he had not. However, DIAZ advised that he possessed weapons in Colombia. Agents then asked DIAZ if he knew who owned a loaded semi-automatic rifle that had been recovered from the corner of the bedroom where the interview took place. DIAZ advised that the rifle was “pretty damn special” and that he would remember such a weapon. Agents then asked DIAZ if he had ever seen the other occupants of the house (including Co-conspirator #1) with this weapon or weapons like it. DIAZ stated that he had seen Co-conspirator #1 with the rifle or a rifle like it in the downstairs area of the residence. DIAZ also stated that he had observed his friend (the father of Co-conspirator #1) in possession of a firearm. DIAZ then showed the agents where the father carried the weapon – in the small of his back. After adamantly denying that he (DIAZ) had ever possessed a firearm in the United States, in particular Colorado, DIAZ was shown the photograph which is included in Attachment A. DIAZ recognized and affirmed that he was the individual depicted in the photograph and that he had indeed been holding the weapons. When agents asked DIAZ why he was not truthful when Case 1:13-mj-01165-MEH Document 1-1 Filed 11/22/13 USDC Colorado Page 4 of 8
  • 5 first asked about the guns he stated that he didn’t think it was relevant. Agents showed DIAZ several firearms found in the house that appeared to match the firearms he admitted to holding in the photograph and asked DIAZ if he recognized them. DIAZ stated that he was drinking when the picture was taken and could not recall if they were the actual weapons from the picture or whether they were weapons like them. DIAZ stated that the photograph was taken downstairs at the house (52 Sedgwick Drive), which is consistent with the location within the house depicted. DIAZ stated multiple times that the weapons were legal. On November 22, 2013, your affiant consulted with agents at the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). You affiant verified that the Smith and Wesson M&P-15, 5.56mm semi-automatic rifle bearing serial number SP 52534 is a “firearm” which was manufactured outside the state of Colorado, and therefore traveled in and affected interstate or foreign commerce. Based on the information identified above, your affiant submits that there is probable cause to believe that Hector DIAZ, a/k/a Hector Diaz-Martinez, a/k/a Hector Josue Diaz-Martinez, a/k/a Hector J. Diaz-Martinez, did illegally possess a firearm on or about February 7, 2013, in violation of U.S.C. §§ 922 (g)(5)(B). Case 1:13-mj-01165-MEH Document 1-1 Filed 11/22/13 USDC Colorado Page 5 of 8
  • 6 I, Charles R. Olachea, Special Agent, Drug Enforcement Administration being duly sworn according to law, does depose and say that the facts stated in the foregoing affidavit are true to the best of my knowledge, information and belief. Dated this 22nd day of November, 2013, at Denver, Colorado. s/Charles R. Olachea Charles R. Olachea Drug Enforecement Administration Subscribed and sworn to before me this 22nd day of November, 2013. ____________________________________ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF COLORADO Affidavit and application reviewed and submitted by M.J. Menendez and Bradley W. Giles, Assistant United States Attorneys ________________________________________ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDUDDDGE Case 1:13-mj-01165-MEH Document 1-1 Filed 11/22/13 USDC Colorado Page 6 of 8
  • ATTACHMENT A Case 1:13-mj-01165-MEH Document 1-1 Filed 11/22/13 USDC Colorado Page 7 of 8
  • Case 1:13-mj-01165-MEH Document 1-1 Filed 11/22/13 USDC Colorado Page 8 of 8
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