Drug Enforcement Administration

Seattle

Keith R. Weis, Special Agent in Charge

March 17, 2020

Contact: Jodie Underwood

Phone Number: (206) 553-1162

Leader of Salem area drug distribution network sentenced to ten years in federal prison

PORTLAND, Ore.—The leader of a Salem-area drug distribution network was sentenced on March 11, 2020, to federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine in and around Salem, Oregon.

Isaias Alvarado, 38, a Mexican citizen residing in Salem, was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release.

According to court documents, the arrest and prosecution of Alvarado and his associates has significantly disrupted the distribution of methamphetamine and cocaine in the Salem area. Alvarado along with his brother and co-defendant, Isaac Alvarado, 33, also of Salem, were part of a distribution network that purchased drugs in Los Angeles, California for redistribution in Salem. Investigators believe the network had recently begun expanding their operations to include heroin distribution.

On June 13, 2017, investigators conducted a federal search warrant on Alvarado’s Salem residence. The search yielded approximately 1.2 kilograms of methamphetamine, a digital scale, four cell phones, night vision goggles, and bulk ammunition. Investigators also seized five firearms from Alvarado’s bedroom: a Springfield Armory AR-15, a Zastava Arms AK-47, a Remington 12-gauge shotgun, a Century Arms 7.62 x 39mm caliber rifle, a CZ 9mm caliber rifle. Alvarado was arrested without incident.

On May 8, 2019, Alvarado pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. During sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Jones ordered Alvarado to forfeit the five firearms seized.

On March 7, 2019, Isaac Alvarado pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He will be sentenced on March 25, 2020. Seven other members of the Alvarados’ distribution network have been sentenced for related offenses. Sentenced defendants include:

  • Luis Ramirez-Valderrama, 42, of Salem—97 months in prison and five years’ supervised release
  • Manuel Garcia, 33, of Salem—78 months in prison and five years’ supervised release
  • Ruben Rosas-Lozana, 32, a Mexican national residing in Salem—48 months in prison and three years’ supervised release
  • Juan Francisco Viveros-Rivera, 34, a Mexican national residing in Salem—40 months in prison and three years’ supervised release
  • Christopher Robin Diebel, 40, of Salem—36 months in prison and three years’ supervised release
  • Nichole Breanna Smiley, 36, of Salem—time served in prison and five years’ supervised release
  • Miguel Angel Garnica-Martinez, 32, of Salem—time served in prison and five years’ supervised release

This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and was prosecuted by Kemp Strickland, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

This case was brought as part of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, the centerpiece of the department’s strategy for reducing the availability of drugs in the U.S. OCDETF was established in 1982 to mount a comprehensive attack on drug trafficking by disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in coordination with state and local law enforcement.

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