PORTLAND, ORE- Jose Juis Valladares (a/k/a Ricardo Ochoa Renteria), 32, of Salem, Oregon, was sentenced today to 156 months in prison and a $1 million money judgment, for his role as the leader of an international drug trafficking organization (DTO).
During the fall of 2008, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) initiated an investigation into a Mexican National DTO operating in Salem, Oregon. Agents determined the conspiracy was responsible for smuggling MDMA (ecstasy) and pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient for manufacturing methamphetamine, south from Canada and transporting significant quantities of cocaine and pure methamphetamine north from California and Mexico. This represents a relatively new trend in which members of Mexican National DTOs establish themselves in Canada, set up networks designed to amass large quantities of pseudoephedrine, and then smuggle it south to California and Mexico where it is manufactured into methamphetamine.
The Oregon State Police (OSP) assisted this Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation by making three traffic stops leading to significant seizures of narcotics. First, in November 2008, OSP stopped a vehicle coming from the Canadian border as it drove south through Oregon, and located over 143 pounds of MDMA (ecstasy) and over 9,000 tablets of pseudoephedrine inside of several hidden trap compartments. Second, in May 2009, OSP stopped another car driving south from Canada through Oregon and agents seized 34 pounds of pseudoephedrine. Third, in November 2009, OSP made a stop of a load car headed north from Los Angeles, California, and discovered approximately 10 pounds of 100% pure methamphetamine.
Sixteen defendants were indicted in February 2010 as members of the conspiracy, four whom remain fugitives. All twelve of the remaining defendants have pled guilty. Valladares is an illegal alien who will be deported after serving his sentence.
The case was the result of a joint investigation of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Oregon State Police, Salem Police Department, Keizer Police Department, and the Mario County Sheriff’s Office.