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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Leader Of International Meth Trafficking Ring Sentenced

CONTACT: Fred Alverson
Public Affairs Officer

CINCINNATI – Heriberto Albarran Caro, aka “Colorin”, 36, born in Chihuahua, Mexico, but residing illegally in Texas and Colorado, was sentenced in U.S. District Court today to 210 months’ imprisonment for leading an international drug trafficking conspiracy that brought approximately six kilograms of crystal methamphetamine from the southwestern U.S. to the Cincinnati area between July and September 2013.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and James V. Allen, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), announced the sentence imposed today by Chief U.S. District Judge Susan J. Dlott.

“The government notes that Caro orchestrated the transport and delivery of approximately six kilograms of what DEA advises is the purest crystal methamphetamine ever seized in the Southern District of Ohio,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Karl Kadon told the court prior to today’s sentencing hearing.

DEA agents and task force officers arrested Caro and four other defendants – Bernardo Olivares-Cepeda, 36, Corpus Christi, Texas; Jose Ayvar-Ramos, 36, born in San Pedro, Mexico but residing illegally in Texas and Oklahoma; Alberto Sanchez, 37, born in Caahuila, Mexico but residing illegally in  Texas; and Ivan De Los Santos, 24, born in San Pedro, Mexico but residing illegally in Texas – at a Cincinnati-area hotel in September 2013 as a result of an investigation into a drug trafficking organization operating in Texas, Colorado, Mexico and Ohio. All five defendants pleaded guilty. Olivares-Cepeda was sentenced to 200 months in prison. Jose Ayvar-Ramos was sentenced to 188 months in prison. De Los Santos was sentenced today to 60 months in jail followed by three years of supervised release. Sanchez is scheduled for sentencing on September 18.

According to court documents, Caro obtained the methamphetamine, as well as quantities of cocaine and marijuana, from unknown Mexican sources of supply with ties to the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas. Ayvar-Ramos arranged to bring the vehicle containing the meth into southern Ohio in September 2013, accompanied by a woman and a child. Ayvar-Ramos hired Sanchez and De Los Santos to perform counter-surveillance to protect against the detection of the conspiracy by law enforcement.

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation by the DEA and agencies participating in the DEA Task Force including the Cincinnati Police Department, as well as the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the DEA office in Colorado Springs who assisted in the investigation. He also commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Karl Kadon, who represented the United States in the case.

Updated July 23, 2015