Mexican National Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Illegal Reentry and Role in Fentanyl Trafficking Conspiracy
A Youngstown man with prior convictions for drug trafficking, possession of heroin and assault on a peace officer was charged in a seven-count indictment handed down by a federal grand jury in Cleveland today. Raphael Ortiz, age 40, was charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, distribution of fentanyl, using and maintaining a drug premise, possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and as a felon in possession of firearms.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, on January 6, 2021, law enforcement officers with the FBI, Mahoning Valley Violent Crimes Task Force (MVVCTF) and Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force (MVLETF) executed a search warrant at the defendants’ Youngstown-area residence. During the execution of the warrant, law enforcement investigators discovered a semi-automatic pistol and approximately $26,000 in cash.
That same day, law enforcement officers executed a second and third search warrant at
two additional residences known to be used for the distribution and storage of narcotics by the defendant. During the execution of these search warrants, the affidavit states that investigators discovered approximately 2.8 kilograms of fentanyl, a Sig Sauger semi-automatic pistol, Remington pump-action shotgun, Springfield Armory semi-automatic pistol, Smith & Wesson semiautomatic rifle, and a Springfield Armory semiautomatic rifle.
The defendant is prohibited from possessing firearms due to a 2008 conviction for drug trafficking and 2004 convictions for possession of heroin and assault on a peace officer.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.
In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum, and in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the FBI and Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Yasmine Makridis.