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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

Friday, February 27, 2015

Arizona Couple Sentenced to Prison for Large Load of Heroin and Methamphetamine

BOISE – Jess Ramirez-Orta, 27, of Phoenix, Arizona, was sentenced today to eight years in prison for possession with intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.  Ramirez-Orta’s girlfriend and co-defendant, Marina Morales, 24, also of Phoenix, Arizona, was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine.  United States District Judge Edward J. Lodge also ordered Ramirez-Orta and Morales to forfeit $150,000 in cash proceeds.  Ramirez-Orta was ordered to serve five years of supervised release, while Morales was ordered to serve three years of supervised release.

According to the court documents, Ramirez-Orta and Morales agreed to transport 5.3 pounds of heroin and 4.2 pounds of methamphetamine from Phoenix, Arizona to Seattle, Washington.  As the couple was passing through Twin Falls, Idaho, they were stopped for driving 87 miles per hour in a 60 miles per hour zone.  Neither the driver, Ramirez-Orta, nor the passenger, Morales, had a valid driver’s license.  The heroin and methamphetamine was discovered in the trunk of the rental car they were driving.  Morales had no prior felony convictions, while Ramirez-Orta had previously been convicted of Burglary and Felony Assault.  Ramirez-Orta was on felony probation at the time of his arrest in Idaho.

The case was investigated by the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration.


Drug Trafficking
Updated February 27, 2015