Four Defendants Charged in Alleged Schemes to Transport Methamphetamine from Mexico and Distribute Drugs in San Jose
Supplier of Drugs Allegedly Traveled Across Mexican Border Twice In One Day To Facilitate Drug Deals
SAN FRANCISCO – A federal grand jury issued an indictment charging Mark Ogo, Anthony Christian Valdovinos, and William Reidy with conspiracy in relation to a scheme to transport methamphetamine from Mexico to the San Jose area for distribution, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux. In a separate criminal complaint, Johnathan Ratcliff was charged with distributing methamphetamine in San Francisco. In a press conference earlier today, U.S. Attorney Anderson announced that the charges against all of these defendants were the culmination of a federal investigation—one of four simultaneous investigations into the movement of drugs from Mexico to the streets of the San Jose area.
“The charges announced today involve large shipments of methamphetamine from Mexico to the Bay Area and reveal the ruthless capitalism of modern drug trafficking,” said U.S. Attorney Anderson. “Drug traffickers have no regard for the personal destruction caused by their sales. It is impossible to characterize their alleged conduct as victimless. Many drug users suffer miserable lives and early deaths. Neighborhoods populated by good people living law-abiding lives suffer from the crime and misery that drug trafficking brings. The crimes charged in these cases undermine the healthy aspirations of whole communities of law-abiding people.”
“Methamphetamine that is pure, potent and cheap has flooded the American market and drug trafficking organizations see an opportunity to profit. They utilize distribution hubs, like the Bay Area, to distribute their poison,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux. “As methamphetamine overdoses rise, the significant drug seizures in this investigation has undoubtedly saved lives. DEA will continue to target and to bring to justice these criminal organizations who traffic drugs in our community to keep Americans safe.”
The indictment, filed February 9, 2021, alleges that in July of 2020, Ogo, 54, and Valdovinos, 27, made arrangements to fly from the Bay Area to Calexico, Calif., where they met Riedy, 57, and bought more than 26 pounds of methamphetamine from him. Documents filed in the case describe intercepted wire communications in which the defendants made arrangements for the drug transfer. Riedy allegedly retrieved the drugs from Mexico and brought them into the United States; indeed, on the day the drugs were transferred to Ogo and Valdovinos, Riedy allegedly crossed the border into Mexico to bring a second batch of controlled substances from Mexico into the United States. Riedy crossed the border back into Mexico after delivering approximately 28 to 30 packages of methamphetamines to Ogo and Valdavinos.
Ogo and Valdovinos allegedly packed the methamphetamine inside Ogo’s rental car and drove the methamphetamine to the Bay Area. Wire communications describe how some of the drugs were hidden inside a spare tire of the rented car Ogo and Valdovinos used to travel back to Northern California.
In sum, Ogo, Valdovinos, and Reidy are charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 grams and more of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1), and (b)(1)(B), as well as one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 5 grams and more of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B). If convicted, the defendants face a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 40 years in prison for each count and a $5,000,000 fine.
In a separate complaint, Johnathan Ratcliff, 49, was charged with distributing drugs to an undercover officer. Specifically, on July 23, 2020, Ratcliff met the officer in San Francisco, and sold him or her 198.4 grams of methamphetamine and 25.4 grams of heroin in exchange for $3,700. Ratcliff is charged with distributing at least 5 grams of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B). If convicted the maximum statutory penalty for the offense is 40 years’ imprisonment and a $5,000,000 fine.
An indictment and a criminal complaint merely allege that crimes have been committed, and each defendant must be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The court may order additional terms of supervised release and restitution, if appropriate; however, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Ogo’s next court appearance is scheduled for February 11, 202, and Ratcliff’s next court appearance is scheduled for February 22, 2021. The remaining defendants do not yet have court appearances scheduled.
The case is being prosecuted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. The investigation of this case was conducted by the DEA with assistance from Vacaville Police Department, the Redwood City Police Department, the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force, the San Francisco Police Department, the Tracy Police Department, and Homeland Security Investigations, Calexico.
This investigation and prosecution is part of OCDETF, which identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.