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California Man Sentenced on Drug Charges

SEP 17 (BANGOR, Maine) - John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced today that Mark Razo, 24, of El Monte, California, was sentenced on September 16, 2013, to 25 years in prison to be followed by six years of supervised release.  Chief Judge John A. Woodcock imposed the sentence following Razo’s March 1 conviction of one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and three counts of unlawful use of a telephone.  A federal jury in Bangor returned the verdict following a five-day trial.

According to the evidence presented at trial and sentencing, Razo operated an interstate drug conspiracy while serving a drug sentence in a California state prison.  The evidence established that Razo was able to use contraband cellular telephones from within prison to arrange transactions, recruit couriers, and cause the transportation of drugs across the United States.

In June 2011, DEA agents in Portland, Maine, who were monitoring a court-authorized wiretap, learned that Razo arranged for a four-pound shipment of pure methamphetamine to Iowa.  Law enforcement personnel in Ottumwa, Iowa seized this shipment.  Agents further learned that Razo arranged for the distribution of other drugs across the United States.

This case was investigated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, the Southeast Iowa Drug Task Force, the Wapello County (Iowa) Sheriff’s Office, investigators from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Stamford (Connecticut) Police Department, the Augusta (Maine) Police Department, and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.  The investigation was part of the ongoing effort of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.


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