Jackson County Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Distributing Cocaine and Trading Cocaine for Firearms
MEDFORD, Ore.—On Thursday, April 18, 2019, Jonathan Alan Ochoa, 31, of Talent, Oregon, was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
“Mr. Ochoa’s actions show a blatant disregard for the law and public safety. The lengthy prison sentences ordered in this case reflect the seriousness of mixing firearms and drug trafficking,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “I thank the ATF agents involved in bringing Mr. Ochoa and Mr. Manzer to justice. Our communities are safer thanks to their efforts.”
“Mr. Ochoa compounded his drug dealing by accepting firearms in trade for illicit drugs,” said ATF Seattle Field Division Special Agent in Charge Darek Pleasants. “His willingness to engage in this lawless behavior undermines the safety and security of his community and contributes to other related criminal activities. His sentence is appropriate and serves to send a message to the community that actions like this will not be tolerated.”
According to court documents, between July and August 2017, Ochoa agreed and conspired with co-defendants Gonzalo Manzo, Jr. and Rodolfo Quevedo to send more than 500 grams of cocaine from California to Oregon to sell and distribute to others. During this time, Ochoa and Manzo negotiated a sale of cocaine with an undercover agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in exchange for multiple firearms.
On August 17, 2017, at Manzo’s request, Quevedo transported approximately 1000 grams of cocaine from California and delivered it to Ochoa in the Medford area. The firearms and cash were intended to be transported back to California but agents arrested Ochoa and his co-conspirators and the firearms were seized by law enforcement.
Manzo pleaded guilty to the same charges in August 2018 and was sentenced to 188 months in prison and three years’ supervised release on December 11, 2018. Quevedo pleaded guilty in September 2018 to a single count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and five years’ supervised release on December 20, 2018.
Ochoa previously pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime on October 29, 2018.
This case was investigated by ATF and is being prosecuted by Nathan J. Lichvarcik and Adam E. Delph, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.
The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.