Final Defendant in International Drug Trafficking Conspiracy Sentenced
May 21– (Portland, OR) – Enrique Orozco-Marin (a.k.a. “Don Prieto”), 37, of Fresno, California, was sentenced today to 97 months in prison and a $50,000 money judgment, for his role an International Drug-Trafficking Organization (DTO). Orozco-Marin, together with lead defendant Jose Luis Valladares (a.k.a. Ricardo Ochoa Renteria), coordinated the cross-border smuggling from Canada of significant quantities of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.
During the fall of 2008, the Drug Enforcement Administration started to investigate a Mexican National DTO operating in Salem. Agents determined the conspiracy was responsible for smuggling MDMA (ecstasy) and pseudoephedrine 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 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 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 this conspiracy, three of whom remain in fugitive status. Orozco-Marin was in fugitive status prior to his June 2011 arrest in Fresno when, during a routine traffic stop, he provided a false name, but officers eventually determined his true identity and the existence of a federal arrest warrant. During a search of his vehicle, officers found $266,320 in United States currency, money that was later forfeited to the DEA.
This case was investigated by the DEA, the Oregon State Police, Salem Police Department, Keizer Police Department, and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.