Law Enforcement Takedown Targets Interstate Drug Trafficking Organization
MEDFORD, Ore.—Five people have been charged for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin manufactured in Mexico in and around Klamath Falls, Oregon, announced Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
Rogelio Gomez-Arias, 23, Irving Beas Ceballos, 34, Alexis Chavez-Franco, 22, and Domingo Matias-Hernandez, 36, are each charged by indictment with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine between May and October 2018. Additionally, Ceballos is charged with possessing methamphetamine and heroin with the intent to distribute and Gomez-Arias, Chavez-Franco and Matias-Hernandez are charged with distributing methamphetamine.
Juan Rodriguez-Ramirez, 62, is charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
All defendants are known to reside in and around Klamath Falls and Dorris, California.
On October 9, 2019, a coordinated, multi-agency law enforcement operation was conducted to dismantle the drug trafficking organization. Five federal search warrants were executed in Klamath Falls and Dorris. Investigators seized more than 37 pounds of methamphetamine, 440 grams of heroin, 14 firearms, and nearly $50,000 in cash and arrested all five defendants.
All five defendants made their first appearances in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark D. Clarke and were detained pending further proceedings. Conspiring to distribute and possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine carries a maximum sentence of life in prison with a 10-year mandatory minimum.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Basin Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team (BINET) and the Siskiyou Unified Major Investigation Team (SUMIT). It is being prosecuted the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.
An indictment and criminal complaint are only accusations of a crime, and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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.