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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Mexican national was sentenced today to a year and a half in federal prison for his role in a California-to-West Virginia methamphetamine conspiracy, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Marco Antonio Bojorquez-Rojas, 21, a Mexican national residing in California, previously pleaded guilty to interstate travel in furtherance of a drug crime.

Bojorquez-Rojas admitted that in January 2016, he traveled with some of his codefendants to Charleston from California to collect money for methamphetamine that had been delivered to West Virginia. On January 11, 2016, law enforcement executed a search warrant on a hotel room where Bojorquez-Rojas and some of his codefendants, including Rafael Garcia Serrato and Cesar Garcia, were staying and recovered a bag containing $12,000 cash. Bojorquez-Rojas also admitted that this cash was payment for a portion of the methamphetamine that had been delivered to West Virginia. Bojorquez-Rojas additionally admitted that in March 2016, he traveled from California to Huntington to collect money for methamphetamine that had been driven to Huntington by codefendants Kelly Newcomb and Cara Linn Monasmith. Shortly after the arrival of Bojorquez-Rojas in Huntington on March 19, 2016, law enforcement arrested him and three of his codefendants in a Huntington hotel room.

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. Newcomb, of Nevada, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for interstate travel in furtherance of a drug crime. Danielle Dessaray Estrada, of Los Angeles, was also sentenced to a year and a day 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, Serrato, of Los Angeles, Garcia, also of Los Angeles, Daniel Ortiz-Rivera, a Mexican national, 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.

Topic: 
Drug Trafficking
Updated December 7, 2016