News Release
April 7, 2008
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-5443

Members of Heroin Trafficking Organization Sentenced To 10-Year Prison Term

APR 7 -- (Eugene, OR) – DEA Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Arnold R. Moorin and the United States Attorney for the District of Oregon, Karin J. Immergut, announced that Juan Carlos Torres-Gonzalez and Marcellino Vargas-Escobar from Michoacan, Mexico were sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Michael R. Hogan on April 1, 2008 to 10 years in prison following convictions for possession and distribution of more than three kilograms of heroin over a six month period. Vargas-Escobar was also ordered to forfeit $4,216 in cash seized at the time of his arrest. Both defendants were accomplices of Armando Paz-Mendez, the leader of a heroin trafficking organization that was based in Lane County, Oregon.

U.S District Court Judge Hogan found that Torres-Gonzalez and Vargas-Escobar had stored and delivered heroin for Paz-Mendez, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute 9,233 grams of heroin.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Oregon State Police, Eugene, Springfield, Cottage Grove, and Corvallis Police Departments, Sheriff’s Deputies from Lane, Benton and Linn Counties. Assistance was provided by the Junction City Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.