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Justice News

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

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Another Mexican national sentenced to federal prison for role in California-to-West Virginia drug conspiracy

Defendant sentenced to over 12 years, admitted to delivery and attempted delivery of several pounds of methamphetamine

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Mexican national heavily involved in a California-to-West Virginia drug conspiracy was sentenced today to 12 years and seven months in federal prison for a drug charge, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Daniel Ortiz-Rivera, 24, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.

Ortiz-Rivera admitted that from January 2015 to June 2015, he was involved in a drug conspiracy with multiple individuals that included the transportation and distribution of methamphetamine. He admitted that in January 2015, he conspired to have methamphetamine delivered from California to West Virginia and supplied drugs to individuals in West Virginia. Ortiz-Rivera additionally admitted that he had methamphetamine delivered to him in West Virginia and traveled himself to California to pick up methamphetamine. From January 2015 through May 2015, he delivered at least eight pounds of methamphetamine to an individual in West Virginia. He also admitted that on June 5, 2015, he was driving from California to transport methamphetamine to Charleston and was stopped by law enforcement in Kansas. During a search of the vehicle, law enforcement discovered approximately four pounds of methamphetamine.

This prosecution is the result of a multi-agency investigation that led to an eight-count indictment implicating several defendants, some of whom have already been sentenced to prison. All of the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. Kelly Newcomb, of Nevada, and Danielle Dessaray Estrada, of Los Angeles, were both sentenced to a year and a day in prison for interstate travel in furtherance of a drug crime. Marco Antonio Bojorquez-Rojas, a Mexican national residing in California, was sentenced to a year and a half in prison for interstate travel in furtherance of a drug crime.

Several of the defendants have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Two other women who were used as mules to transport methamphetamine, Rachel Arlene Garay, of California, and Monasmith, of Nevada, pleaded guilty to interstate travel in furtherance of a drug crime. Additionally, as part of this conspiracy, Rafael Garcia Serrato, of Los Angeles, Cesar Garcia, also of Los Angeles, Velarian Sylvester Carter, of Beckley, Miguel Tafolla-Montoya, a Mexican national, and Brian Ashby, of Kanawha County, previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.  

The FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Charleston Police Department, and the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald is in charge of these prosecutions. United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr., is presiding over these cases and imposed the sentences.

These cases are being prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of illegal drugs, including methamphetamine. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of illegal drugs in communities across the Southern District.

Drug Trafficking
Updated December 8, 2016