Multi-Agency Investigation Leads to Charges Against 13 Alleged Members of a Tucson-Area Drug Trafficking Organization
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona
TUCSON, Ariz. – A federal grand jury in Tucson, Arizona, returned a 19-count indictment on November 10, 2022, against 10 current or former southern Arizona residents, including:
- Alberto Gabriel Aranda-Ramon, 31, of Tucson, Arizona
- Michele Oller, 54, of Tucson, Arizona
- Larry William Nelson, Jr., 51, of Arizona
- Ashley Yvonne Maxwell, 35, of Tucson, Arizona
- Leah Jean Holmes, 28, of Tucson, Arizona
- Alexander Anthony Ruiz, 34, of Tucson, Arizona
Aranda-Ramon, Oller, Nelson, Maxwell, and Holmes were indicted on charges of Conspiracy to Distribute Drugs and Drug Distribution. Ruiz was indicted on charges of Conspiracy to Distribute Drugs, Conspiracy to Launder Money, and Money Laundering. The remaining four defendants’ names are presently under seal by court order.
The indictment alleges that, beginning in September 2021, the 10 defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl and 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, or 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. The indictment further alleges that all of the 10 defendants except for Ruiz engaged in Drug Distribution. Finally, the indictment alleges that Ruiz also was involved in a conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and that he engaged in money laundering.
Three additional individuals with alleged ties to the above-described conspiracy to distribute drugs were arrested in a multi-agency law enforcement operation on December 7, 2022, in Tucson, Arizona. They are:
- Andrew Grijalva, 19, of Las Vegas, Nevada
- Rodrigo Lopez-Lozoya, 36, of Mexico
- Jesus Ramon Lozoya-Portillo, 41, of Mexico
On December 8, 2022, United States Magistrate Judge Eric J. Markovich authorized a complaint charging Grijalva, Lopez-Lozoya, and Lozoya-Portillo with drug trafficking (22-MJ-00777-N/A-LCK).
The complaint alleges that, beginning in September 2021, Grijalva, Lopez-Lozoya, and Lozoya-Portillo conspired to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, or 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine.
A conviction for Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl and Methamphetamine, as charged in the indictment, carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a fine of $10,000,000, or both, and up to a lifetime of post-conviction supervision.
A conviction for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, as alleged in the complaint, carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a fine of $10,000,000, or both, and up to a lifetime of post-conviction supervision.
A conviction for Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments, as charged in the indictment, carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine, and up to three years of post-conviction supervision.
An indictment and a complaint are simply methods by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raise no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General are conducting the investigation in this case. The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Tucson, is handling the prosecution.
CASE NUMBER: 22-CR-02454-TUC-RCC-MSA
RELEASE NUMBER: 2022-229_Aranda-Ramon, et al.
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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/
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Updated December 23, 2022