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Portland-Area Drug Trafficker Sentenced to Over 17 Years in Federal Prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. – Michael Thomas Ragnone, 37, of Portland, Oregon, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman to 210 months (17.5 years) in prison and five years of supervised release, for his leadership role in a conspiracy responsible for distributing significant quantities of methamphetamine in the Portland metropolitan area.

“This 17-year sentence marks the culmination of an efficient investigation by the Clackamas County Interagency Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and an effective federal prosecution targeting a drug distribution network responsible for introducing significant quantities of methamphetamine into our community,” said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall.  “Thanks to the hard work of our law enforcement partners, another drug dealer is off the streets.” 

In March 2011, Clackamas County Interagency Task Force (CCITF) officers successfully introduced an undercover officer to an upper-mid level drug dealer known to them as “Russian John.”   Agents identified “Russian John” as Michael Thomas Ragnone, the owner of R&M Motors car lot at 809 North Rosa Parks Way.  Between April and September 2011, agents conducted several controlled buys of methamphetamine from Ragnone and his drug couriers, in multiple ounce quantities.  Surveillance officers observed Ragnone driving a BMW M5, Mercedes E320, and Honda CRV.  On September 7, 2011, agents arrested Ragnone and executed a search warrant at his car lot.  They seized 15 firearms, over four pounds of methamphetamine, digital scales, and piles of stolen property including boat motors, bicycles, credit cards, and hundreds of catalytic converters.

At the defendant’s initial appearance in federal court, the magistrate judge released defendant to pretrial supervision, over the government’s objection.  During his time on pretrial supervision, defendant continued to engage in criminal conduct by sending a methamphetamine-laced letter to his incarcerated girlfriend, using stolen credit cards, and diversifying his drug distribution business to include both heroin and methamphetamine.  He was taken back into custody in October 2012.  As a result of his pretrial misconduct, defendant lost 7 years’ worth of sentencing credit for “acceptance of responsibility.”  On June 6, 2013, Judge Mosman sentenced Ragnone to 210 months in prison and imposed a money judgment of $500,000.  Judge Mosman found that aggravating factors justified the lengthy prison term, including the firearms, defendant’s leadership role, and defendant’s post-indictment misconduct in the community while pending trial. 

Ragnone was the final defendant to be sentenced in the overall CCITF investigation in which Ragnone’s co-conspirators in related cases received federal prison sentences of 70 months, 75 months, 87 months, 120 months, and 262 months.

This case was investigated by Clackamas County Interagency Task Force and the DEA.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Leah K. Bolstad and Special Assistant United States Attorney Steven T. Mygrant.

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