Thirty-Five Defendants, Including Ring Leader, Prosecuted in Major Take Down of International Drug Trafficking Organization Based in Lane County
PORTLAND, Ore.—U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that members of a major international drug trafficking organization, including one of its ringleaders and sources of supply from Mexico, have been charged with distributing methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl into Oregon between 2018 and 2020.
A federal grand jury in Eugene has returned a one-count indictment charging Victor Diaz-Ramirez, 30, who was residing in Mexico, with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. This Indictment is part of a much larger investigation into the large-scale distribution of drugs into Oregon from Mexico by the drug trafficking organization led by Diaz-Ramirez (“the Diaz DTO”). According to court documents, the Diaz DTO has been operating at least since 2018. The Diaz DTO imported drugs into the United States from Mexico, transported them from California to Oregon hidden inside vehicles, then distributed them throughout Oregon from its distribution cell located in Lane County.
The government’s investigation has resulted in the prosecution of 35 individuals (listed below) who are members or associates of the Diaz DTO. The scheme involved shipment of drugs from Mexico into Southern California by Diaz-Ramirez and others, where they were subsequently transported in large wooden boxes by couriers to Oregon and delivered to co-conspirators operating a distribution cell. There, the drugs were divided and prepared for distribution in large pound quantities for delivery to local distributors in Eugene, Springfield, and Salem, for eventual redistribution to their local customer base. During its investigation, law enforcement seized from the Diaz DTO over 260 pounds of methamphetamine, 16 pounds of heroin, 6 pounds of fentanyl in the form of 4000 fentanyl pills, 76 firearms, 1 grenade, multiple vehicles, and more than $760,000 in cash used to facilitate drug transactions.
The following people have been arrested as members and associates of the Diaz DTO and prosecuted with drug related charges: Victor Diaz-Ramirez, 30; Rodolfo Arroyo-Segoviano, 34; Jose Manuel Cabadas, 36; Nicholas A. Norton-Guerra, 30; Arturo Gonzalez Jr., 22; Jose Cruz Granados Munoz, 33; Robert Harrington, 40; Gregory Todd Daily, 57; Austin Wayne Reinke, 34; Shelby Lynn Mathews, 30; Javin Michael Loomis, 42; William Joseph Hawkins, 42; Randy Allen Hendricks, 59; Vernon Eli Reece, 58; Alejandro Augustin Cardenas, 43; Spencer Arthur Crawford, 36; Anthony Robert Andreotti, 43; Isidro Mateo-Olivera, 32; Andres Santacruz, 40; Yasmani Diaz Iturbe, 35; Artemio Lorea Carrillo, 47; Alejandro Lara, 27; Karine Garabedian, 36; Tamara Gonzalez-Valdivia, 24; Andres Avila Gamboa, 29; Israel Salvador Mercado-Mendoza, 33; Rigoberto Morfin-Pedroza, 36; Delfino Angel Davila-Tamayo, 27; Cristina Maria Elizabeth Fregoso, 36; Jose Leonidas Gonzalez-Castillo, 52; Felipe Antonio Rapalo, 31; Eddy Eduardo Rapalo, 24; Gustavo Arango-Moreno, 29; and Victor Ramos-Vergara, 32.
“For years, the Diaz DTO brought poison from Mexico to the streets of Oregon in the form of methamphetamine, fentanyl and heroin” said United States Attorney Billy J Williams. “This takedown represents a major disruption of that pipeline of drugs into our community. This investigation shows that large scale drug distribution is not limited to Portland. This organization used Lane County as its base and from there sent drugs across the entire state. This prosecution is especially important as the entire organization was targeted; from the source of supply in Mexico, to the couriers bringing the drugs north, and to those involved in the statewide distribution network. The prosecution of those involved is a major step in law enforcement’s efforts to stop the river of drugs flowing from Mexico to Oregon. I want to thank our federal and state partners for their work in investigating, interdicting, and arresting those involved and especially effecting the arrest of the alleged ringleader, Victor Ramirez-Diaz.”
“The dismantlement of this international drug trafficking organization centered in Eugene, Oregon, demonstrates how effective law enforcement efforts are when we work together,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Cam Strahm. “The organization targeted and brought to justice through this case will not prey on the citizens of Lane County and residents of Oregon for a long time.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Marshals, Springfield Police Department, Eugene Police Department Street Crimes Unit, Lane County Sherriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, Line Task Force in Linn County, and DINT Task Force in Douglas County investigated this case. It is being prosecuted by Joseph Huynh and Judi Harper, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.
An indictment and complaint is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The investigation that led to this prosecution, as described above, fall under the auspices of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s drug supply reduction strategy. OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.