News and Press Releases

Jose Rodriguez-murillo Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula on July 1, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, JOSE RODRIGUEZ-MURILLO, a 33-year-old resident of Bozeman, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Sentencing is set for October 22, 2009. He is currently detained.

In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

In 2007, the Missouri River Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement began investigating a cocaine-trafficking organization in Gallatin County. The investigation included surveillance of individuals and addresses, and multiple controlled purchases of cocaine by confidential informants. RODRIGUEZ-MURILLO was a member of the drug trafficking organization.

On the following dates, law enforcement officers monitored controlled purchases of cocaine in the following amounts:

March 12, 2008 - one ounce;

March 24, 2008 - five ounces;

April 15, 2008 - one ounce;

April 25, 2008 - one ounce;

April 30, 2008 - four ounces;

July 2, 2008 - one ounce;

August 6, 2008 - three ounces;

August 26, 2008 - two ounces;

September 22, 2008 - two ounces;

October 22, 2008 - one-half ounce;

October 28, 2008 - two ounces;

November 12, 2008 - three ounces;

November 25, 2008 - three ounces;

January 16, 2009 - two and one-half ounces; and

March 31, 2009 - one and one-half ounce.

RODRIGUEZ-MURILLO provided the cocaine on October 22, 2008, and was present with Juan Vargas-Flores on October 28, 2008. All told, law enforcement officers either purchased or seized over 845 grams of cocaine.

On April 20, 2009, RODRIGUEZ-MURILLO was arrested at a residence in Gallatin County. He told law enforcement that he had traveled to Denver on at least seven occasions to transport cocaine back to the Bozeman area. He was sometimes paid $600 for those trips and traveled with other conspirators. RODRIGUEZ-MURILLO said they paid $650 per ounce of cocaine. RODRIGUEZ-MURILLO also admitted selling cocaine in the Bozeman area on two occasions.

Vargas-Flores pled guilty to federal charges and is awaiting sentencing.

RODRIGUEZ-MURILLO faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and could be sentenced to 40 years, a $2,000,000 fine and at least 4 years supervised release.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Missouri River Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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