Nationwide Drug Trafficking, Law Enforcement Impersonation, and Fraud Ring Disrupted
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a 19-count indictment Thursday against Quinten Giovanni Moody, aka Christano Rossi, 37, of Dublin, and Myra Boleche Minks, 46, formerly of Roseville, for drug trafficking, impersonating federal law enforcement officials, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, and obstruction of justice, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, between 2017 and 2022, Moody and Minks were part of an organization identified as the Moody-Minks organization, whose members engaged in a variety of criminal conduct. Specifically, Moody and Minks were the leaders of the organization’s unlawful transportation of marijuana from California to Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, and Texas. Moody and Minks used couriers, airline employees, and a shipping company to transport the marijuana to various destinations. In addition, between April 2020 and May 2021, Minks impersonated special agents and employees of federal law enforcement agencies to seek nonpublic information related to organization members’ criminal conduct, to include:
· On April 13, 2020, Minks, posing as a DEA Special Agent, sought information concerning the victims of a fatal shooting on Interstate 880 in Oakland;
· On April 27, 2020, Minks, posing as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, sought information concerning a federal drug trafficking investigation regarding co-defendant Moody;
· On July 24, 2020, Minks, posing as a FBI Special Agent, attempted to dissuade a person from buying a property in Placer County, claiming that the seller was under investigation by the FBI;
· On Oct. 14, 2020, Minks, posing as an employee of the U.S. Secret Service, sought information from the Colma Police Department in San Mateo County regarding the location of a vehicle police had seized;
· On Jan. 25, 2021, Minks, posing as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, sought information regarding an ongoing murder investigation in San Francisco, including whether the person charged with the murder had cooperated with law enforcement; and
· On May 31, 2021, Minks, posing as an employee of the U.S. Department of Justice, sought information regarding a search warrant authorizing the disclosure of information regarding a cellphone number. Related to this impersonation episode, Minks and Moody have also been charged with impersonating an employee of the US DOJ and submitted to Phone Company 1 fake federal search warrants that sought the disclosure of GPS location data for a specific telephone number.
Also according to court documents, Moody, Minks, and co-defendant Jessica Tang, 48, of Sacramento, participated in a scheme to defraud the California Employment Development Department (EDD). The defendants obtained the names, social security numbers, and other personal identifying information (PII) of identity theft victims. They submitted applications for unemployment insurance benefits in the names of these victims without their consent and knowledge. The applications contained false and fraudulent representations, including false statements about the identity of the applicants, the applicants’ occupation and previous employment, and false addresses. In total, the defendants fraudulently caused EDD to disburse in excess of $120,000.
Also according to court documents, Moody and Minks obstructed justice. In April 2022, a federal magistrate judge in Sacramento signed warrants authorizing federal agents to seize two of Moody’s vehicles: a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro and a 1956 Chevrolet pickup truck. Agents seized the vehicles and put them in a secure parking lot at the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office. Thereafter, between May 8 and May 21, Moody and Minks gave a tow truck company employee fake federal court orders that purported to order the release of Moody’s vehicles. Moody and Minks directed the tow truck driver to take the fake court orders to the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office and remove the vehicles from the FBI’s secure lot.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the California Highway Patrol, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, the Placer County Probation Department, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, the Colma Police Department, the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Police Department, the Roseville Police Department, the San Francisco Police Department, the Atlanta Police Department, the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, and the California Employment Development Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian A. Fogerty, Justin L. Lee, and Sam Stefanki are prosecuting the case.
If convicted of the drug trafficking offense, Moody and Minks face a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine. If convicted of the false personation offenses, Moody and Minks face a maximum statutory penalty of three years in prison and $250,000 fine on each count. If convicted of the conspiracy and mail fraud offenses, the defendants face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted of aggravated identity theft, the defendants face a mandatory consecutive sentence of two years in prison. If convicted of the obstruction of justice, Moody and Minks face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.