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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 6, 2022

Portland Area Drug Trafficker Indicted for Kidnapping and Murder of Washington State Man

PORTLAND, Ore.—A federal superseding indictment was unsealed today charging a Mexican National residing in Clackamas County, Oregon for his role in the 2019 kidnapping and murder of a Washington State man and other drug trafficking crimes.

Marcos Alonso Castillo-Bernal, 46, has been charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and distribute controlled substances, killing while engaged in drug trafficking, distribution of heroin and methamphetamine, kidnapping resulting in death, conspiracy to commit kidnapping resulting in death, hostage taking resulting in death, conspiracy to commit hostage taking resulting in death, felon in possession of a firearm, and fraud and misuse of a visa.

According to the superseding indictment, beginning on an unknown date and continuing until his arrest in October 2019, Castillo-Bernal conspired with others to traffic and distribute large quantities of heroin and methamphetamine in an around Portland. Castillo-Bernal and his co-conspirators would import large quantities of the illegal narcotics from numerous suppliers to stash houses throughout the metro area where they were processed and prepared for sale.

On or about April 13, 2019, Castillo-Bernal and others kidnapped, held hostage, and murdered Ricardo Corral-Moreno, of Olympia, Washington, and disposed of his body in a rural area near Molalla, Oregon. Castillo-Bernal and his co-conspirators targeted Corral-Moreno because of money Corral-Moreno owed to Castillo-Bernal and others.

Castillo-Bernal made his initial appearance in federal court today before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. He was arraigned, pleaded not guilty, and ordered detained pending a jury trial scheduled to begin on April 12, 2022.

Killing while engaged in drug trafficking, kidnapping resulting in death, and hostage taking resulting in death are all capital offenses with maximum custodial sentences of life in federal prison. Kidnapping and hostage taking resulting in death also carry a mandatory life sentence upon conviction. Killing while engaged in drug trafficking and drug trafficking conspiracy carry mandatory minimum sentences of 20 years and 15 years in federal prison, respectively.

Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and Portland Police Bureau. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This prosecution is the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the U.S. by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated January 6, 2022