Members of Seattle Drug Trafficking Organization Indicted for Distribution of Heroin
One apprehended this week in Mexico, four arrested in June in Washington
SEATTLE – The leader of a multi-national drug trafficking organization was arrested earlier this week and was returned to the United States yesterday from Mexico, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. Four members of the organization were arrested June 23, 2016, in Washington State. Conspiracy leader RICARDO RAMACHO, aka Ricky Ramacho, 34, fled from law enforcement from his residence in Mexico. He was located and arrested August 9, 2016. The indictment follows a two year investigation spanning multiple states and Mexico. It charges five individuals with distributing large amounts of heroin – some of it smuggled from Arizona to Washington hidden behind door panels in rental cars. During the June arrests, investigators searched three locations in Seattle and one in Renton.
“Heroin continues to take a terrible toll on people in our community and across this country,” said United States Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “I commend the dogged work of the FBI and Bellevue Police Department to stop those who peddle this drug and profit from the misery of those who are addicted to it. Their pursuit of those involved -- no matter where they are located -- is an important part of the effort to stop this terrible scourge.”
RAMACHO was taken into custody without incident Tuesday August 9th, in Playas de Tijuana near Tijuana, Mexico, by Baja California State Preventive Police, in close coordination with the FBI legal attaché office at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. Mexican authorities repatriated RAMACHO yesterday, transferring him to FBI custody. RAMACHO, a U.S. citizen, made his initial appearance yesterday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, in San Diego.
According to the indictment and court records, within the last five years, the defendants participated in a drug distribution ring remotely directed by defendant RAMACHO from his residence in the Tijuana, Mexico area. Beginning in June 2014, law enforcement authorities used a variety of tools including telephone record analysis, confidential sources, and surveillance to observe activities of this drug organization. Investigators observed a drug supply purchase in Arizona and numerous drug sales at a Seattle residence in the Hillman City neighborhood and at a Seattle gas station in the Beacon Hill area. Investigators observed defendants at a Renton business search vehicle compartments that were later flagged by a law enforcement K-9 for the scent of narcotics.
“Once again, investigations like this one prove the essential value of strong law enforcement partnerships and our ability to work together to meet a common goal,” said Special Agent in Charge Frank Montoya, Jr., of the FBI’s Seattle division. “In this case, it enabled us to effectively target multiple subjects across the country and internationally. Our joint efforts enabled us to identify and shut down a significant drug-trafficking activity and key elements of the organization supporting it. The FBI is particularly appreciative of our law enforcement partners in Mexico.”
“This operation was the result of close cooperation and collaboration between several Federal, State, and Local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, including investigators from the Eastside Narcotics Task Force and the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force,” said Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett. “I am very proud of the hard work of these dedicated law enforcement professionals. As a result of this large scale operation, a well-organized drug trafficking operation has effectively been dismantled, and the entire Puget Sound region is safer.”
Those arrested on the indictment include:
Ricardo Ramacho, aka Ricky Ramacho, 34, recently residing near Tijuana, Mexico
Alexa Rae Bockmier, 25, of Seattle, Washington
Cody Alan Clay, 28, of Renton, Washington
Burrell Michael de Bose, aka “O.G.,” 64, of Seattle, Washington
Nicholas Matthew Bond, 30, of Seattle, Washington
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.
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. This investigation was led by the FBI’s Seattle Division and Bellevue Police Department’s (BPD’s) Eastside Narcotics Task Force (ENTF). The ENTF is composed of BPD officers, and agents and officers from the Washington State Patrol (WSP), US Postal Inspection Service, and the Redmond, Kirkland, and Mercer Island police departments in partnership with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams from the FBI, BPD, and WSP conducted the arrests, and King County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the searches.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark Parrent.