Two federal inmates who coordinated Washington drug trafficking from Oklahoma prison sentenced to additional long prison terms
Seattle – A former King County Jail guard, two Department of Corrections inmates, and three co-conspirators were indicted by a federal grand jury for five federal felonies including bribery, drug possession with intent to distribute, and conspiracy. Those arrested today will appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle at 2:00 this afternoon.
“Fentanyl and meth are horribly destructive in our community, and our correctional institutions are not immune. The challenge of keeping inmates safe is made much more difficult when correctional staff betray their positions of trust and authority,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. “I credit King County law enforcement officials with working quickly and cooperatively with the FBI to identify those allegedly involved in this bribery and drug smuggling conspiracy.”
According to the indictment, former King County Jail Guard Mosses Ramos, 39, of Milton, Washington, worked as a correctional officer for 17 years - from June 2006 until he was fired in September 2023. According to the indictment, between March and May 2023, Ramos accepted bribes to bring methamphetamine and fentanyl into the jail for the benefit of inmates Michael Anthony Barquet, 37, and Francisco Montero, 25. Both men are currently incarcerated.
The web of bribes and drug trafficking extended outside the jail with coconspirators who are associates of the two inmates: Neca Silvestre, 38, of Kent; Katrina Cazares, 38, of Burien; and Kayara Zepeda Montero, 27, of Seattle.
“Impact in our community is built on the foundation of partnership and trust,” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Seattle. “We are grateful for the exceptional collaboration with the King County Jail, King County Sheriff’s Office, King County Prosecutor’s Office, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for their shared commitment to holding public servants who violate trust accountable and for steadfast efforts to keep drugs out of our correctional facilities. Our partners identified the actions of an employee and brought the case to our attention which resulted in a successful joint investigation. This demonstrates the commitment by public safety professionals to hold those who violate this trust to the highest standards.”
Each of the defendants is charged with four counts in the five-count indictment. Ramos is charged with soliciting and accepting a bribe. The other defendants are charged with bribery for paying the bribes. All are charged with conspiracy to engage in bribery, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute.
For Ramos, Barquet, and Montero, the charges carry mandatory minimum sentences if convicted of ten years in prison and up to life in prison. The other defendants face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the King County Sheriff’s Office, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Cindy Chang and Vince Lombardi.
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.