News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 18, 2012

20 Year Sentence for
Washington Area Methamphetamine Dealer

July 18 (Indianapolis) - Jack Riley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, announced today that Mario Rodas, a/k/a Ruben Echavarria, age 31, of Washington, has been sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson to 20 years in federal prison for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and conspiring to engage in money laundering.

“Our top priority is dismantling these drug trafficking organizations, who peddle their poison in our communities,” said Riley. “Our joint efforts in this investigation have made a real impact on the supply and distribution of methamphetamine in southern Indiana, by targeting the source and holding him accountable for his actions.”

“Working with law enforcement here in Daviess County, we have dismantled this dangerous drug trafficking organization and ensured that those behind it will never walk the streets of Washington again,” Hogsett said. “I hope that these significant sentences serve as a warning across this portion of the state as to how seriously we treat the importation of drugs and death into Hoosier communities.”

Rodas was the chief lieutenant of a methamphetamine and marijuana trafficking organization that operated in the Washington and Vincennes area from approximately August 2009 through December 9, 2010. Federal authorities believe that the operation was responsible for distributing at least fifteen pounds of methamphetamine per month.

The head of the criminal organization, Washington resident Jose Vasquez-Silva, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison, on April 23, 2012.

This case was the result of an investigation involving the Drug Enforcement Administration; United States Marshals Service; Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, and Firearms; Internal Revenue Service; Homeland Security Investigations; Indiana State Police; Vincennes Police Department; Washington Police Department; Daviess County Sheriff’s Department; Vigo County Sheriff’s Department and the Gibson County Sheriff’s Department.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley A. Blackington, who prosecuted the case for the government, Rodas will be deported to Guatemala following the completion of his sentence

Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.

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