California pair charged with smuggling drugs to 5 states

Jun 17, 2022, 4:09 PM | Updated: 4:33 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California pair not only smuggled drugs to five other states but repeatedly impersonated federal law enforcement officers as part of the nationwide scheme, a U.S. grand jury alleged this week.

A federal grand jury in Sacramento on Thursday indicted Quinten Giovanni Moody, also known as Christano Rossi, 37, and Myra Boleche Minks, 46, on charges of drug trafficking, impersonating federal law enforcement officials, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, and obstruction of justice.

They used couriers, airline employees and a shipping company to send California-grown marijuana to Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada and Texas from 2017 into this year, prosecutors said. Pot purchased for $1,500 per pound in California in 2017 would be sold for $2,600 per pound in Georgia, according to an FBI affidavit.

And from last year until this spring, they said Minks repeatedly posed as various federal agents in attempts to learn about or disrupt the investigation. She also posed as an airline employee in an attempt to persuade other employees to let a courier complete a drug delivery, the affidavit says.

Officials are seeking to arrest Minks and did not know of an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

On six different occasions, they allege Minks variously pretended to be a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent; an assistant U.S. attorney; an FBI special agent; an employee of the U.S. Secret Service; and an employee of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The ruses included posing as the DEA agent in what the affidavit said was an attempt to get inside information from the investigation into an April 2020 shootout between two vehicles on an interstate highway in Oakland, California, that left one victim dead.

Investigators recovered nearly $375,000 in cash packed in two suitcases from the dead man’s vehicle.

The pair is also alleged to have submitted fake federal search warrants to a phone company in a bid to get location information for a cellphone, and to have given two different tow truck companies fake federal court orders in repeated attempts to retrieve two of Moody’s vehicles from a secure parking lot at the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office.

Finally, the pair, along with a co-defendant, Jessica Tang of Sacramento, are alleged to have used identities stolen from unsuspecting individuals to file unemployment insurance claims, prompting the California Employment Development Department to disburse more than $120,000.

“Ms. Tang is a 48-year-old mother without a record. And then she met Myra Minks and now she’s indicted,” said Tang’s attorney, Thomas A. Johnson.

The multiple charges carry varying maximum sentences, including up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy and mail fraud charges.

Moody’s attorney, Adam Gasner, said his client will plead not guilty and maintains his innocence.

“We ask there not be a rush to judgment and that Mr. Moody be allowed to defend himself in court and to avail himself to due process of law,” Gasner said in an email.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - The logo of the Organization of the Petroleoum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen outside of...

Associated Press

Saudi Arabia reducing global oil supply, could spell higher prices for US drivers

Saudi Arabia will reduce how much oil it sends to the global economy, taking a unilateral step to prop up the sagging price of crude.

17 hours ago

This photo provided by Robert Wilkes, owner of a house boat management company, shows smoke rising ...

Associated Press

Houseboats catch fire while docked at Wahweap Marina on Lake Powell

More than half a dozen house boats momentarily caught fire at a popular boating destination on the Utah-Arizona line on Friday.

3 days ago

File - Women work in a restaurant kitchen in Chicago, Thursday, March 23, 2023. On Friday, the U.S....

Associated Press

US hiring, unemployment jump in May and what that says about the economy

The nation’s employers stepped up their hiring in May, adding a robust 339,000 jobs, well above expectations.

3 days ago

(Pixabay Photo)...

Associated Press

Oath Keeper from Arizona sentenced for role in Jan. 6 riot at US Capitol

Edward Vallejo, a U.S. Army veteran from Phoenix, oversaw a “Quick Reaction Force” at a Virginia hotel that was prepared to deploy an arsenal of weapons into Washington if needed, authorities say.

4 days ago

FILE - U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz listens during a news conference, Jan. 5, 2023, in Washi...

Associated Press

US Border Patrol chief is retiring after seeing through end of Title 42 immigration restrictions

The head of the U.S. Border Patrol announced Tuesday that he was retiring, after seeing through a major policy shift that seeks to clamp down on illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border following the end of Title 42 pandemic restrictions.

5 days ago

FILE - President Joe Biden talks with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., on the House steps as...

Associated Press

House OKs debt ceiling bill to avoid default, sends Biden-McCarthy deal to Senate

The House approved a debt ceiling and budget cuts package late Wednesday, as President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy assembled a bipartisan coalition of centrist Democrats and Republicans against fierce conservative blowback and progressive dissent.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles



Thank you to Al McCoy for 51 years as voice of the Phoenix Suns

Sanderson Ford wants to share its thanks to Al McCoy for the impact he made in the Valley for more than a half-decade.


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

How to identify the symptoms of 3 common anxiety disorders

Living with an anxiety disorder can be debilitating and cause significant stress for those who suffer from the condition.

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...

Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.

California pair charged with smuggling drugs to 5 states