News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 02, 2009
Contact: Roberto E. Bryan, Jr.
Special Agent/PIO
Number: 504-840-1360

Remaining Two Drug Traffickers Convicted in Federal Court
18 Convicted Stemming from an Investigation Code Named
"Operation Fowl Play" and "Rio Gallo"
Approximately 111 Kilograms of Cocaine and $2 Million Dollars Seized

OCT 02-- LAKE CHARLES, LA . . . KENNETH GARY WASHINGTON, age 45, of Jeanerette, Louisiana, was convicted by a federal jury late yesterday evening, along with his ex-wife, JESSICAFRILOT WASHINGTON, age 34, of St. Martinville, Louisiana, United States Attorney Donald W. Washington announced. The nine-day trial commenced on September 21, 2009, and the jury deliberated for approximately six hours before returning their verdicts. KENNETH GARY WASHINGTON and JESSICA FRILOT WASHINGTON were the remaining two defendants, out of eighteen defendants indicted, following an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation dubbed “Operation Fowl Play” and “Rio Gallo.”

KENNETH GARY WASHINGTON was convicted on one count of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and marijuana, one count of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of unlawful use of a communication facility. KENNETH WASHINGTON also has a prior drug conviction in the Southern District of Alabama.

JESSICA FRILOT WASHINGTON was convicted on one count of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine, and two counts of unlawful use of a communication facility. This case was the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the Louisiana State Police, into a drug trafficking organization lead by Pedro Ramos. Ramos, his brothers, and their associates operated a lucrative drug trafficking enterprise responsible for transporting and distributing large amounts of cocaine and marijuana from the Brownsville, Texas area to the Church Point, Louisiana area. The organization also distributed drugs in Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, and other parts of Louisiana. Evidence at trial showed that KENNETH WASHINGTON met Pedro Ramos through dog and rooster fighting. Pedro Ramos owned approximately 300 roosters and 60 pit bulls and would fight them throughout South Louisiana. After KENNETH WASHINGTON and Pedro Ramos met, KENNETH WASHINGTON approached Ramos and presented him with a money laundering/investment opportunity to purchase Canal Oil Refinery located in Church Point, LA. Due to the Ramos organization amassing large sums of cash from drug proceeds, Pedro Ramos needed a way to legitimize this income, and began to invest large sums of cash into the purchase of Canal Oil Refinery. Ultimately, the Canal Oil Refinery was not purchased due to the fact that the Ramos Family Drug Trafficking Organization began to have cocaine transport problems when DEA began seizing cocaine and cash from the organization through traffic stops.

In addition to his involvement with Ramos, KENNETH WASHINGTON was a major drug trafficker of his own separate drug trafficking organization. Evidence at trial proved that this organization distributed to customers in Lafayette, New Orleans, and Vidalia, LA; Atlanta, Georgia; and Natchez, Mississippi. After his arrest in May 2005, evidence introduced at trial proved that KENNETH WASHINGTON continued to coordinate the distribution of cocaine through phone calls made from jail to his wife, JESSICA FRILOT WASHINGTON.

As a result of “Operation Fowl Play” and “Rio Gallo,” approximately 111 kilograms of cocaine and $2,000,000.00 were seized. U. S. Attorney Donald W. Washington stated: “It is an obligation of this office to protect our communities from those individuals responsible for smuggling and distributing illegal drugs into our neighborhoods. When we invest in the fight against illegal drugs, we choose the best course for the future of our families and our communities. Drug traffickers will be held accountable and seriously dealt with by this office and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. These convictions are a result of an investigation made possible by combining resources at the federal, state, and local level, and we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement counterparts to pursue and dismantle drug trafficking organizations.”

Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New Orleans Division, Jimmy S. Fox III, stated: “This is another example of the sizable drug activities in the State of Louisiana. It is also an example of a collaborative law enforcement effort by federal, state, and local authorities to make this state drug free. We will continue to investigate those individuals who are bent on breaking our drug laws.”

At sentencing, both defendants face up to 20 years to life imprisonment. Sentencing has been scheduled for January 15, 2010. Sentencing in federal court is determined by the discretion of federal judges and the governing statutes. Parole has been abolished in the federal system. OCDETF, consisting of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

The following fifteen co-defendants were previously sentenced:

LUCIANO MENDEZ RAMOS, a/k/a “Chinning,” age 36, of Brownsville, Texas, pled guilty in February 2006 to conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and marijuana and money laundering conspiracy. Luciano Ramos was sentenced in June 2006 to 12 years imprisonment and five years supervised release following confinement.

GERARDO MENDEZ RAMOS, a/k/a “Tuto,” age 38, of Brownsville, Texas, pled guilty in February 2006 to conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and marijuana and money laundering conspiracy. Gerardo Ramos was sentenced in June 2007 to 17 ½ years imprisonment and five years supervised release following confinement.

EDUARDO RAMOS, a/k/a “Eddie,” age 29, of San Benito, Texas, pled guilty in January 2009 to conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and marijuana. Eduardo Ramos was sentenced in April 2009 to 20 years imprisonment and five years supervised release following confinement.

LANCE KEITH OLIVIER, age 31, of Church Point, Louisiana, pled guilty in February 2006 to conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and marijuana and money laundering conspiracy. Olivier was sentenced in April 2008 to 14 years imprisonment and three years supervised release following confinement.

DANIEL PAUL DOUCET, a/k/a “Big D,” age 32, of Church Point, Louisiana, pled guilty in February 2006 to conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and marijuana and money laundering. Doucet was sentenced in June 2006 to10 years imprisonment and five years supervised release following confinement.

ABRAHAM SAN MIGUEL, age 32, of Brownsville, Texas, pled guilty in December 2008 to conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and marijuana. Miguel was sentenced in April 2009 to five years, three months imprisonment and three years supervised release following confinement.

DEXTER JEFFERY VALLOT, age 38, of Jeanerette, Louisiana, pled guilty in April 2008 to conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and marijuana. Vallot was sentenced in October 2008 to 10 years imprisonment and five years supervised release following confinement.

PABLO P. RAMIREZ, age 35, of Brownsville, Texas, pled guilty in September 2007 for money laundering. Ramirez was sentenced in January 2008 to five years probation.

ANDREW AUBREY, a/k/a “Cumbia King,” age 36, of Broussard, Louisiana, pled guilty in November 2007 to conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and marijuana. Aubrey was sentenced in March 2008 to two years imprisonment and three years supervised release following confinement.

MINDI LYN BERNARD-OLIVIER, age 28, of Church Point, Louisiana, pled guilty in November 2007 to unlawful use of a communication facility. Bernard-Olivier was sentenced in March 2008 to one day imprisonment and one year supervised release following confinement.

JUANA MENDEZ RAMOS, age 61, of St. Joseph, Missouri, pled guilty in October 2007 for maintaining a drug-involved premise. Juana Ramos was sentenced in February 2008 to three years probation.

MICHAEL JOSEPH JACKSON, age 34, of Lafayette, Louisiana, pled guilty in September 2007 to conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and marijuana. Jackson was sentenced in January 2008 to seven years, three months imprisonment and three years supervised release following confinement.

ARNOLD CARDONA, a/k/a “Ernie,” age 37, of Loxahatchee, Florida, pled guilty in October 2006 to conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and marijuana. Cardona was sentenced in March 2007 to approximately 12 ½ years imprisonment and five years supervised release following confinement.

MARIA GUADALUPE RAMOS, a/k/a “Maria Garcia Ramos” and “Guadalupe Maria Garcia,” age 38, of Brownsville, Texas, pled guilty in September 2008 to misprision of felony (having knowledge of an actual commission of a felony). Maria Ramos was sentenced in December 2008 to 27 days imprisonment and one year supervised release following confinement.

MARLENY RAMOS, a/k/a “Marleny R. Ramos,” age 34, of Brownsville, Texas, pled guilty in September 2008 to misprision of felony (having knowledge of an actual commission of a felony). Marleny Ramos was sentenced in December 2008 to a total term of time served, with credit for time served (70 to 83 days - whichever was served) and one year supervised release following confinement.

One final co-defendant remains to be sentenced:

PEDRO MENDEZ RAMOS, a/k/a “Peter,” age 41, of Church Point, pled guilty in August 2006 to continuing criminal enterprise and money laundering conspiracy. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) - Lafayette, LA and Brownsville, TX offices, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (Lafayette and Brownsville), Louisiana State Police, and the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office, Brownsville, Texas. The Drug Enforcement Administration, Lafayette, Louisiana Post of Duty, is a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) initiative comprised of special agents of the DEA, and agents from the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lafayette Police Department, Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office, Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office, Opelousas Police Department and the Louisiana National Guard. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys J. Collin Sims and John Luke