A federal judge Wednesday denied pretrial release for a Moreno Valley man who allegedly handled the day-to-day operations of an Inland Empire-based drug trafficking ring that used the U.S. Postal Service and private vehicles to ship millions of dollars’ worth of cocaine and other narcotics to buyers across the nation.
Noel “Big Show” Granados, 41, is among two dozen defendants charged in a 17-count federal indictment alleging a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. His attorneys had asked a magistrate judge to allow his release from pretrial detention due to the coronavirus situation at the downtown Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center, where he is being housed.
Prosecutors pointed out that two other judges and an appeals court panel all previously concluded that Granados poses a danger to the community and is a flight risk, and should remain behind bars pending trial next year, court papers show.
Over the course of a three-year investigation, authorities across the United States seized about 170 pounds of cocaine, nearly 20 pounds of heroin, 150 pounds of methamphetamine, 989 fentanyl pills, 19 firearms, and over $1.8 million in suspected drug proceeds, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Between October 2016 and May 2018, members of the conspiracy mailed large quantities of narcotics from post offices throughout Riverside County and elsewhere to recipients nationwide — including New York, Ohio, Michigan, and South Carolina — in exchange for large cash payments, often in excess of $100,000, according to the indictment, which was filed in January in Los Angeles.
Federal prosecutors allege that drugs were provided to Granados, who arranged for shipments to co-conspirators in other states via U.S. mail and private trucks.
Granados handled the ring’s day-to-day operations, including the logistics of mailing drug parcels, sending drugs via trucks, and receiving drug proceeds sent back to California, the indictment contends.