Two Phoenix Area Men Convicted in Prison Drug Conspiracy
SEP 20 (PHOENIX) – Roman Borquez, 46, of Peoria, Ariz., and Ralph Moreno, 52, of Phoenix, Ariz., were found guilty by a federal jury of drug trafficking offenses, including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Borquez was also convicted of conspiring to distribute heroin. Moreno was also convicted of possessing firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense. The case was tried before U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn O. Silver from Sept. 4-18, 2013. The defendants are being held after trial and sentencing is set before Judge Silver on Dec. 16, 2013.
“The DEA and our law enforcement partners will never waver in our efforts to bring those who would prey upon the weakness of others to justice, and we will continue to do our part in making sure that they are held accountable for the lives they have ruined by peddling these dangerous poisons,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman.
DEA U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo stated, “It remains a priority of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute dangerous drug traffickers, we will continue to investigate and prosecute these offenders in order to protect our community.”
The evidence at trial showed that in 2010, Borquez, a member of the Arizona Mexican Mafia prison gang, was serving time in federal prison when he conspired with others in Arizona to send heroin to him. Borquez’ associates hid the heroin inside two greeting cards that were intercepted at the prison where he was being housed.
The evidence further showed that Borquez, while in prison, arranged for the sale of methamphetamine with a Hawaii-based drug dealer. In 2011, a Phoenix-based FBI Violent Street Gang Task Force comprised of federal and state investigators infiltrated Borquez’ drug trafficking organization and seized three pounds of methamphetamine During a search of Moreno’s residence, agents discovered an AR-15 rifle, a .40 caliber handgun, a small amount of marijuana and over $75,000 in cash. Moreno was prohibited from possessing either weapon because of two prior felony convictions for drug trafficking.
A conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a $10,000,000 fine or both. A conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a detectable amount of heroin carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine or both. A conviction for felon in possession of a firearm carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Federal Bureau of Prisons; Arizona Department of Corrections; Phoenix Police Department; and the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The prosecution is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Phoenix.