Skip to main content
Press Release

Angel Dominguez Ramirez Jr. Admits to Leading Vast Drug-Smuggling, Money Laundering Empire

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – November 10, 2021

SAN DIEGO – Angel Dominguez Ramirez Jr. of Tamaulipas, Mexico, pleaded guilty in federal court today to drug and money laundering charges, admitting that he was the leader of a trafficking organization that transported ton-quantities of cocaine from South America to Mexico and into the United States.

According to court documents, the organization Dominguez headed called itself El Seguimiento 39, or El Seg 39. El Seg 39 obtained cocaine from sources of supply in South and Central America and used drug transportation cells in Central America to transport the cocaine into Mexico via boats, aircraft and commercial vehicles, where its transportation network moved cocaine across the U.S.-Mexico border at ports of entry in Texas and California and into cities within the United States.  Dominguez purchased cocaine from sources of supply stretching from the Chiapas state of Mexico to Peru, including sources in Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. 

The charges to which Dominguez pleaded guilty stem from a long-standing investigation that led to more than 30 seizures totaling five tons of cocaine and over $9 million of drug-related proceeds. According to the government filing, Dominguez, a former United States Marine and dual U.S.-Mexican citizen, built his organization through cooperative alliances with the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO), the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG), the Sinaloa Cartel, the Cartel del Golfo (CDG), and the Los Zetas.  His organization not only moved vast quantities of its own cocaine and marijuana into the United States, but it was also used by leaders of other Mexican cartels and drug trafficking organizations to move illegal drugs into the United States. 

“Today’s guilty plea shows that this office, together with its law enforcement partners, will continue to hold accountable those who are importing huge quantities of dangerous drugs into this country,” said Acting United States Attorney Randy Grossman. Grossman thanked prosecutor Kyle Martin, Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Customs and Border Protection for their excellent work on this case.

“Today’s guilty plea of Angel Dominguez Ramirez Jr. demonstrates the enormous value of strong international and domestic law enforcement partnerships,” said Chad Plantz, acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in San Diego. “This successful prosecution is the culmination of years of investigative effort by HSI special agents and our partners, to uncover and dismantle Dominguez’s drug trafficking operations.”

“The DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to target high-level individuals and organizations who contribute to addiction and death in the United States for their monetary gain,” said DEA San Diego Field Division Acting Special Agent in Charge Shelly S. Howe. “Today’s guilty plea is testament that collaborative efforts with our law enforcement partners are making a positive impact locally and nationwide by disrupting the drug supply chain.”

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

DEFENDANT                                                           Case Number: 16CR1996-WQH

Angel Dominguez Ramirez                                        Tamaulipas, Mexico


Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances for Purpose of Unlawful Importation, in violation of Title 21 U.S.C. §§ 959, 960 and 963; Term of custody including a mandatory minimum 10 years and up to life imprisonment, $10 million fine and 5 years supervised release

Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments, in violation of Title 21 U.S.C. §§ 1956(a)(2)(B)(i). Term of custody of up to 10 years, $500,000 fine


Homeland Security Investigations

Drug Enforcement Administration

Customs and Border Protection

Department of Justice, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force

Department of Justice, Office of Enforcement Operations

Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs


Assistant U. S. Attorney Kyle Martin (619) 546-7726

Updated November 10, 2021

Press Release Number: CAS21-1110-Dominguez Ramirez, Jr.