News Release
Date: December 17, 2010
Contact:Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-5443

Final Member of Drug Trafficking Group Sentenced to Federal Prison

DEC 17--  (Portland, Ore.)- Mark Thomas, Acting Special Agent in Charge announced Roberto Ruiz-Marin, 31, of Ontario, Oregon, was sentenced on December 17th, 2010 to 151 months in federal prison for methamphetamine and cocaine trafficking. Ruiz-Marin was the final defendant sentenced in a large-scale drug investigation that resulted in the arrest of nine others and highlighted the continued need for coordination between Idaho and Oregon drug investigators.

The investigation began in 2006 and revealed that a large group operating primarily in Ontario, Oregon, was distributing methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana received from California and Mexico. These activities netted the group a significant amount of money. In early 2009, investigators in Imperial County, California, seized approximately $275,000 in drug proceeds headed for Mexico.

In August 2008, an undercover officer began buying methamphetamine and cocaine from members of the group. Most of those drug deals occurred in Meridian. Ruiz-Marin drove his co-conspirators to some of these deals. At one of these deals, law enforcement witnessed Ruiz-Marin remove drugs from his coat pocket, hand them to a co-defendant, who then handed them to the officer. Investigators arrested most of the group members, including Ruiz-Marin, on May 13, 2009, intercepting an 18-pound shipment of marijuana inbound from California. Investigators believe that the group planned to sell that marijuana in Oregon and Idaho.

In June 2010, a Boise jury found Ruiz-Marin guilty of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as distributing both methamphetamine and cocaine on specific dates in Meridian. He was sentenced on December 16, 2010 at the Federal Courthouse in Boise by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour. Ruiz-Marin will serve five years on supervised release following his prison sentence.

Other group members who were sentenced to federal prison are: Feliciano Cruz-Rodriguez – 120 months, Martin Romero-Mendoza – 24 months, Francisco Oropeza – 84 months, Cresencia Soto – 97 months, Juan Manuel Zazueta-Quintero – 72 months, and Jesus Ruelas-Lopez – 144 months.

This was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Idaho State Police and the Ontario Police Department.