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Father, Son Each Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Operating a Multi-State Drug Trafficking Organization

JUN 19 (PHOENIX) – On June 18, 2014, the final defendant was sentenced in connection with Operation Clean Green – a multi-year investigation conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service.  Hector Raul Ortiz-Tarazon, Sr. and his son, Hector Francisco Ortiz, Jr. ran a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that shipped marijuana to the Midwest and East Coast.  Twelve defendants were charged in the superseding indictment for crimes including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, money laundering, and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking offense.

The organization trafficked over 1,300 pounds of marijuana, generating proceeds in excess of $1 million.  The DTO received cash and money orders from marijuana customers as payment for the marijuana.  Federal agents seized approximately $400,000 in assets, including cash, eight vehicles, 39 firearms, and numerous rounds of ammunition. 

The sentences imposed include the following:

On June 11, 2014, Hector Raul Ortiz-Tarazon, Sr., 47, of Mesa, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James A. Teilborg to 15 years in prison.  Hector Raul Ortiz-Tarazon, Sr. pleaded guilty on Dec. 13, 2013, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, money laundering, and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking offense.

On June 11, 2014, Hector Francisco Ortiz, Jr., 24, of Mesa, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James A. Teilborg to 15 years in prison.  Hector Francisco Ortiz, Jr. pleaded guilty on Dec. 13, 2013, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, money laundering, and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking offense. 

On June 17, 2014, Guadalupe Velazquez, 24, of Phoenix, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James A. Teilborg to 10 years and 1 month in prison.  Guadalupe Velazquez pleaded guilty on Dec. 11, 2013, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, and money laundering. 

On June 12, 2014, Marcos Velazquez, 21, of Phoenix, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James A. Teilborg to 60 months in prison.  Marcos Velazquez pleaded guilty on Dec. 10, 2013, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. 

On June 4, 2014, Gerardo Edmundo Andrada-Pastrano, 45, of Phoenix, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James A. Teilborg to 57 months in prison.  Gerardo Edmundo Andrada-Pastrano pleaded guilty on Dec. 5, 2013, to possession with intent to distribute marijuana.  

On June 18, 2014, Reuben Clayton Treasure, 45, of New York, NY, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James A. Teilborg to 46 months in prison.  Reuben Clayton Treasure pleaded guilty on Jan. 3, 2014, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, and money laundering. 

The investigation in this case was conducted by agencies participating in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.  The lead agencies were the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and included the participation of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, the Coolidge Police Department, the Apache Junction Police Department, and the Chandler Police Department.  The prosecution was handled by Keith Vercauteren and Jonell Lucca, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.



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