January 13, 2016
Contact: Erica C. Curry
Phone Number: (602) 664-5600
Leader Of Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced To 11 Years Prison
PHOENIX - DEA announced today, the sentencing of Carlos Ramon Castro-Rocha, 42, of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, to 11 years in prison. Castro-Rocha, a former Consolidated Priority Organization (CPOT), a term designated as a reference to the highest-level drug traffickers, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess heroin with intent to distribute.
“The sentencing of Carlos Ramon Castro-Rocha sends a powerful message to drug traffickers that they cannot escape justice. They will pay for the destruction they cause in our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. “DEA will never relent in our efforts to protect the American people from predators like Castro-Rocha.”
DEA’s investigation of Castro-Rocha identified him as the leader of a drug trafficking organization responsible for growing, processing, importing, and distributing massive quantities of heroin from a base of operations in Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico. After a brief hold in stash houses throughout Phoenix, Arizona, the drugs were transported to cities including, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Denver, Colorado; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Between October 2008 and April 2009, years before the nation’s current heroin epidemic, DEA and law enforcement agencies seized approximately 48 pounds of heroin, over $150,000 in currency, numerous vehicles, and a firearm from Castro-Rocha’s organization.
Castro-Rocha was subsequently indicted in November 2009, arrested in Mexico in May 2010, and extradited to the United States in October 2012. Following his plea, U.S. Senior District Judge Roslyn O. Silver sentenced him to prison.
The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshal’s Service, Phoenix Police Department, Mesa Police Department, Wickenburg Police Department, Navajo County Sheriff’s Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety, and Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, with assistance from the Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs. The prosecution was handled by the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona.