Home San Diego Press Releases 2009 “Operation Keys to the City” Fugitive Arrested
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“Operation Keys to the City” Fugitive Arrested

FBI San Diego February 16, 2009
  • Darrell Foxworth (858) 320-8302

David Garcia, age 43, of San Diego, was arrested by members of the Violent Crime Task Force-Gang Group with the assistance of San Diego Gang Suppression Team Officers on Monday, February 16, 2009. Garcia was arrested at approximately 3:30 p.m., in the vicinity of Russ and 24th Street in San Diego. Garcia was arrested pursuant to a federal arrest warrant charging him with violation of Title 21, U.S.C., Section 841(a)(1)-Distribution of Methamphetamine.

Garcia was one of 36 defendants charged as part of a year long federal investigation entitled “Operation Keys to the City” conducted by the multi-agency San Diego Violent Crimes Task Force-Gang Group. “Operation Keys to the City” targeted the criminal activities of the Mexican Mafia (or “La Eme”), Hispanic street gangs with ties to the Mexican Mafia and the Mexico-based Arellano-Felix drug trafficking organization.

Garcia was one of four fugitives being sought as part of the “Operation Keys to the City” investigation. The Violent Crime Task Force-Gang Group continues to seek the public’s assistance to locate Ernest Matthew Soqui, Lance Agundez, and Jorge Lerma-Duenas.

According to the indictments and complaints filed in this matter, the defendants in this matter engaged in a racketeering conspiracy, firearm offenses and drug trafficking violations. The defendants engaged in multiple racketeering acts in furtherance of the Mexican Mafia criminal enterprise, including, among other things, attempted murder, kidnapping, assault, extortion, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and the distribution of controlled substances.

The RICO conspiracy complaint also sets forth how the Mexican Mafia criminal organization exerted control over illegal activities within the California prison system and on the streets of Southern California through a hierarchical structure led by Mexican Mafia members. Members delegate authority to Mexican Mafia associates to control specific areas both inside prisons and on the streets. This delegation of authority is referred to as giving “the keys” to the individual.

The Violent Crimes Task Force-Gang Group is asking anyone with information concerning the below fugitives, to contact the FBI at telephone number (858) 565-1255.

Ernest Soqui (2/16/09)   Lance Agundez (2/16/09)   Jorge Lerma-Deunas (2/16/09)

Name: Ernest Matthew Soqui
Age: 32
Sex: Male
Height : 5’4
Weight: 225 lbs.


Name: Lance Agundez
Age: 27
Sex: Male
Height : 5’6
Weight: 150 lbs.


Name: Jorge Lerma-Deunas
Age: 31
Sex: Male
Height : 5’10
Weight: 180 lbs.

An arrest itself is not evidence that the defendant committed the crimes charged. The defendant is presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.