22 Indicted in Operation Targeting Drug Trafficking Organization Tied to Cartel in Michoacan, Mexico
PORTLAND, Ore.—Today, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon unsealed a nine count indictment charging drug trafficking offenses against 22 members of a criminal organization responsible for trafficking large quantities of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine in Oregon and Washington State.
Early this morning, FBI, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI – U.S. Department of Homeland Security), the Westside Interagency Narcotics (WIN) Task Force and the Clackamas County Interagency Task Force (CCITF) conducted a multi-agency law enforcement operation leading to the arrest of 17 defendants.
According to the unsealed indictment, a drug cartel based in Michoacan, Mexico distributed methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine to Victor Alvarez Farfan, 43, of Oregon City, Oregon. Farfan and his associates manufactured crystal methamphetamine from liquid form and distributed it to other members of the conspiracy for sale in Hillsboro, Gresham, Portland and Hood River, Oregon, and Tacoma, Washington. Farfan and his associates also distributed heroin and cocaine in the Portland-metro area. John Armas, 41, of Hillsboro, distributed methamphetamine he received from Farfan via a local distribution cell in the Hillsboro area.
“While our country suffers from the effects of pervasive substance abuse, Mexican drug trafficking cartels continue bringing deadly narcotics into our communities. Stopping these transnational organizations requires steadfast and responsive law enforcement partnerships at all levels of government,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “Today, thanks to the vigilance and sustained cooperation of law enforcement agencies across Oregon, this cartel’s efforts to maintain their foothold in our communities has been dealt a lasting blow. We will continue pursuing criminal drug traffickers and ensure their actions are met with severe consequences.”
“Meth, heroin and cocaine combine to form a deadly cocktail that fuels a cycle of violence and addiction in our community,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “The FBI and our partners are targeting the power players in these drug trafficking organizations as we work to reduce the flow of guns, drugs and dirty money into Oregon.”
“I commend the collaborative efforts by all of those involved in this important operation,” said Brad Bench, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Seattle. “HSI is committed to dismantling these types of illicit drug trafficking organizations and bringing those involved to justice.”
“We are unrelenting in our work to stop illegal drug traffickers,” said Pat Garrett, Washington County Sheriff. “The teamwork displayed—local, federal and across state lines—makes me thankful for the strong partnerships we have in public safety.”
“This is another clear example of public safety working together to make a difference at every level—city, county, state and federal agencies,” said Craig Roberts, Clackamas County Sheriff. “I can attest that countless front line officers have been working around the clock to hold major drug traffickers accountable for their criminal activities. Our united message is: “don’t bring this to Oregon or we in law enforcement will soon be knocking on your door.”
The nine-count indictment unsealed today alleges members of the organization conspired to possess with the intent to distribute and distribute methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine; use a communication facility, including cellular telephones, in the commission of a controlled substances felony; and maintain drug-involved premises to manufacture and distribute controlled substances. Other charges include the interstate distribution of drug proceeds and money laundering.
Named defendants include:
- Victor Alvarez Farfan is charged with conspiracy, two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and conspiracy to commit the laundering of monetary instruments.
- John Armas is charged with conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and conspiracy to commit the laundering of monetary instruments.
- Silverio Rubio Valdovinos, 35, of Gresham, is charged with conspiracy.
- Eduardo Alvarez Farfan, 24, of Gresham, is charged with conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and conspiracy to commit the laundering of monetary instruments.
- Roberto Carlos Farfan Alvarez, 23, of Oregon City, is charged with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
- Genaro Fernandez Gonzalez, 26, of Salem, Oregon, is charged with conspiracy.
- Randy Eugene Roberts, 51, of Hillsboro, is charged with conspiracy.
- Kathleen Joan Roberts, 53, of Hillsboro, is charged with conspiracy.
- Socorro Elena Gutierrez, 38, of Hillsboro, is charged with conspiracy.
- Taylor Michael McKemie, 55, of Hillsboro, is charged with conspiracy and conspiracy to commit the laundering of monetary instruments.
- Keith Frederick Teufel, 59, of Hillsboro, is charged with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
- Randall Deal Mauel, 47, of Chehalis, Washington, is charged with conspiracy.
- Rene Diaz Gutierrez, 36, of Vancouver, Washington, is charged with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
- Catherine Arlene Cunningham, 51, of Hood River, is charged with conspiracy.
- Kirstie Alexandria Mirelez, 27, of Portland, is charged with conspiracy.
- Jessica Marie Stinnett, 39, of Astoria, Oregon, is charged with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
- Athena Marie Johnson, 48, of Hillsboro, is charged with conspiracy.
15 of the 22 defendants were arraigned in federal court today. The identities of the five remaining defendants remain under seal. All defendants are expected to make their first appearances within one week.
This case is the result of a joint investigation by FBI, HSI, WIN, and CCITF. WIN includes representatives from the Washington County Sheriff's Office, the Beaverton Police Department, the Hillsboro Police Department, the Tigard Police Department, the Oregon National Guard Counterdrug Program, and the FBI. CCITF includes representatives from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, Clackamas County Community Corrections, Oregon City Police Department, Canby Police Department, the FBI and DHS/Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Other agencies assisting with today's takedown include: Oregon State Police, the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office, the Hood River County Sheriff's Office, the Gresham Police Department, the Salem Police Department, the Port of Portland Police Department, the Portland Police Bureau and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
This case was brought as part of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, the centerpiece of the department’s strategy for reducing the availability of drugs in the U.S. OCDETF was established in 1982 to mount a comprehensive attack on drug trafficking by disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in coordination with state and local law enforcement.
An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.