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Press Release

Seventeen Charged With Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering in St. George, Utah

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Utah
Charges allege that Angel Rubio-Quintana and others worked with drug traffickers in Mexico to distribute fentanyl, methamphetamine, and marijuana in Washington County

ST. GEORGE, UTAH – A recently unsealed 24 count indictment issued by a grand jury in the District of Utah charges 17 individuals for their alleged roles in a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, methamphetamine, and marijuana in Washington County. The charges follow joint Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operations conducted by the Washington County Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division (IRS), and the United States Marshals Service. 

These charges resulted from an investigation that demonstrated extensive law-enforcement cooperation in the St. George area. Federal and state partners conducted a proactive investigation targeting drug trafficking and money laundering. Officers seized more than three kilograms of methamphetamine and thousands of fentanyl pills. Using court-authorized investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that Angel Rubio-Quintana, along with co-conspirators, allegedly ordered narcotics from individuals in Mexico, distributed the narcotics in the local community, and sent drug proceeds from Utah to Mexico. 

United States Attorney for the District of Utah Andrea T. Martinez announced the charges today along with Washington County Drug Task Force Captain Jordan Minnick, DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jay Tinkler, FBI Special Agent in Charge Dennis Rice, and HSI Acting Special Agent in Charge Lucia Cabral-Dearmas. 

“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to federally prosecuting drug traffickers who fuel addiction and crime in Southern Utah,” said United States Attorney Andrea T. Martinez. “This prosecution highlights law enforcement’s tireless efforts to dismantle drug-trafficking organizations from suppliers in Mexico to drug dealers in St. George. We will continue to vigorously prosecute those who traffic narcotics in our communities.” 

The indictment charges 17 individuals with 24 federal counts, including conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, methamphetamine, and marijuana; conspiracy to launder money; distribution of fentanyl and methamphetamine; possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine with intent to distribute; and unlawful reentry of a previously removed alien. 

Those charged in the indictment are:

•    Angel Rubio-Quintana, 41, of St. George
•    Ramon Higuera-Cota, 49, of Sinaloa, Mexico
•    Presciliano Galax-Felix, aka “Chito,” 54, of Sinaloa, Mexico
•    Jaime Rivera-Jauregui, aka “Charras,” 35, of St. George
•    Carlos Rubio-Acosta, 19, of St. George
•    Lauro Ignacio-Morales, aka “Junior,” 20, of St. George
•    Llonatan Gutierrez-Ruiz, aka “Barbas,” 59, of St. George
•    Alfreida Simpson, 38, of St. George
•    Tanya Adame, 19, of St. George
•    Raul Valdez-Chavez, 62, of Riverside County, California
•    Juana Marin-Angel, 34, of West Jordan
•    Daniel Tena-Villasenor, 28, of Jerome
•    Tracy Eyman, 52, of Diamond Valley
•    Juan Carlos Orozco, 40, of St. George
•    Paul Ciriaco, 33. of St. George
•    Oliver Mendez-Rojas, aka “Willy,” 21, of St. George 
•    Hardet Alan Valdez, aka “Moshi,” 20, of St. George, Utah 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen P. Dent and Angela Reddish-Day, in the St. George Branch Office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah, are prosecuting the case. Special agents, task force officers, and analysts from the DEA, FBI, IRS, and HSI investigated the case, alongside detectives and analysts from the Washington County Drug Task Force.
Indictments are not findings of guilt. Defendants charged in indictments are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.

Updated February 18, 2022

Drug Trafficking