Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

March 11, 2014

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7994

Tacoma, Wash. Man Pleads Guilty To Trafficking Oxycodone And Making Illegal Cash Deposits

FRESNO, Calif. - David Ruem, 32, of Tacoma, Wash., pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiring to distribute oxycodone and hydrocodone, one count of conspiring to structure cash deposits, and one count of aggravated structuring.

According to court documents, Ruem's co-conspirators obtained prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone from a doctor in Visalia, Calif., filled those prescriptions at pharmacies in Modesto, and then transported and mailed the pills to Washington for distribution on the black market. Ruem illegally sold the oxycodone and hydrocodone and then deposited the cash proceeds of those sales into bank accounts held by co-conspirators in California. He made the cash deposits in amounts of $10,000 or less to attempt to prevent Currency Transactions Reports from being filed by the banks on his cash deposits. Currency Transactions Reports are reports prepared by financial institutions for any transaction involving more than $10,000 in cash. These reports are filed with the Department of Treasury and are made available to law enforcement.

Ruem is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on June 2, 2014. Ruem faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for conspiring to distribute oxycodone, up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiring to structure, and up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for aggravated structuring. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

This case is being brought as part of Operation Footprint, a nationwide law enforcement initiative led by the U.S. Attorney's Offices, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Operation Footprint targets large drug trafficking organizations by identifying the transfer of drug proceeds through financial institutions, bulk cash smuggling and other forms of money transfers. Operation Footprint is focused on bringing criminal charges based on Bank Secrecy Act violations in addition to violations of the Controlled Substances Act and the Money Laundering Control Act. This case is also the product of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF), a focused multi-agency, multijurisdictional task force investigating and prosecuting the most significant drug trafficking organizations throughout the United States by leveraging the combined expertise of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorney Grant B. Rabenn is prosecuting the case.

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