FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
JANUARY 20, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCDETF: CALIFORNIA MAN SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON FOR CONSPIRACY TO DISTRIBUTE COCAINE
BALTIMORE, Maryland - United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein announces that today U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Roberto Herran-Ochoa, age 52, of Inglewood, California to 10 years in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.
According to the statement of facts presented at his guilty plea on October 19, 2005, a confidential informant advised police that during January of 2002, he came in contact with Roberto Herran-Ochoa. Herran-Ochoa told the confidential informant that he had an amount of cocaine in Chicago, and was searching for a customer for that cocaine.
The confidential informant then contacted an individual he knows who is also a large-scale distributor of cocaine in the Chicago area, and made arrangements for that individual to purchase over 50 kilograms of Herran-Ochoa’s cocaine. In early February, 2002, the confidential informant arrived in Chicago, and was directed by Herran-Ochoa to arrange for the cocaine to be delivered to the purchaser. While still in Chicago awaiting payment for the cocaine, the confidential informant was contacted by the purchaser who said that they had tested the cocaine, found it to be of poor quality, and wanted to return Herran-Ochoa’s cocaine. Herran-Ochoa would not accept the return of the cocaine. In response, a male associate of the purchaser indicated that the cocaine was going to be taken to the Washington, D.C. area to be distributed there.
The confidential informant then left for Baltimore, driving a rented vehicle, and once he arrived in Baltimore, he was directed by the purchaser to meet individuals at a specific location off the Washington Beltway (Interstate 495). On February 16, 2002, he met the unknown individuals as directed and received from them $179,000, and then returned to his motel room in suburban Baltimore, Maryland.
According to the confidential informant, he had five more meetings with these unknown individuals at various spots near the Washington Beltway, and on each occasion received from them a large sum of money. Over the course of the ensuing weeks, the confidential informant was, while under law enforcement supervision and direction, able to retrieve from these individuals over $250,000 and obtain from them ten kilograms of cocaine.
Also, while under law enforcement direction and supervision, the confidential informant was able to engage both Herran-Ochoa and the purchaser in conversations which corroborated his and their involvement in a narcotics trafficking scheme.
During late March, 2002, Herran-Ochoa was urged by the confidential informant to travel to the Washington, D.C. area to pick-up the proceeds from the narcotics sales. On March 29, 2002, Herran-Ochoa arrived in the Washington D.C. area and arranged with the confidential informant to take receipt of the money. Herran-Ochoa sent another individual to pick-up the money and that person was arrested. Law enforcement agents then found Herran-Ochoa, and he was also arrested.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration and Baltimore County Police Department for their investigative work in this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) case. Mr. Rosenstein also praised Assistant United States Attorney Philip S. Jackson for prosecuting the case.