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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Sioux City Man Sentenced for Child Pornography Offense and Drug Offense

Defendant jumps from a second story balcony to avoid capture

A lawful permanent resident who possessed child pornography and more than a half pound of cocaine was sentenced on March 12, 2018, to more than seven years in federal prison.

Jose Ramon Ortega-Ramirez, 23, from Sioux City, Iowa, received the prison term after a November 1, 2017 guilty plea to one count of possession of child pornography and one count of possession with intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing cocaine.

In a plea agreement, Ortega-Ramirez admitted that he possessed images conveying nude images of a minor.  Ortega-Ramirez admitted that he also possessed images and videos of the minor engaging in sexually explicit activity.  Ortega-Ramirez was aware that the minor was under the age of 18 at the time.

In a plea agreement, Ortega-Ramirez also admitted that law enforcement intercepted a package from Mexico containing approximately 290.70 grams of cocaine.  The package was addressed to “Jhon Smith” and had Ortega-Ramirez’s address on it.  On August 4, 2017, law enforcement executed a controlled delivery of the package at Ortega-Ramirez’s residence.  On this day, Ortega-Ramirez approached the undercover agent, identified himself as “Jhon Smith,” signed for the package, and brought it into his home.  Shortly thereafter, officers executed a search warrant on the residence and found the package in Ortega-Ramirez’s bedroom hidden underneath a blanket on his bed.  After his arrest, Ortega-Ramirez claimed that he had accepted the package on behalf of the tenants in the upstairs apartment who he knew to sell cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana.  He claimed he expected to receive marijuana as compensation.  Shortly after the interview ended, Ortega-Ramirez attempted to escape from police custody by running approximately thirty feet and jumping over a second floor railing that was approximately twenty feet off the ground.  Before defendant could escape, five law enforcement officers subdued him.

Ortega-Ramirez was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  Ortega-Ramirez was sentenced to 90 months’ imprisonment.  A special assessment of $100 was imposed.  He must also serve a 5-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Ortega-Ramirez is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tim Duax and Special Assistant United States Attorney Ajay Alexander, and was investigated by the Tri-State Drug Task Force based in Sioux City, Iowa, that consists of law enforcement personnel from the Drug Enforcement Administration; Sioux City, Iowa, Police Department; Homeland Security Investigations; Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office; South Sioux City, Nebraska, Police Department; Nebraska State Patrol; Iowa National Guard; Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; United States Marshals Service; South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation; and Woodbury County Attorney’s Office. 

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 17-CR-4049 and 17-CR-4066.

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Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Childhood
Updated March 13, 2018