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Final defendant sentenced in Arizona’s largest drug scout prosecution

TUCSON, Ariz, (KYMA, KSWT, KECY) - The final defendant in United States v. Felix-Ramirez, et al, was sentenced on November 25, 2019.

The eighteen-defendant indictment investigated the illegal activities of a drug trafficking gang from Mexico which had ties to the Sinaloa Cartel.

All defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Operation Rocky Top 2, determined that the drug traffickers exploited a remote location of U.S.-Mexico border within the Tohono O’Odham Nation.

Agents seized approximately 4,358 pounds of marijuana tied to cartel scouts during the investigation.

The 18 defendants were sentenced to prison time as follows:

  • Jose Angel Felix-Ramirez, 30, of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, was sentenced to 55 months;
  • Arnoldo Ojeda-Zavala, 33, of Durango, Mexico, was sentenced to 57 months;
  • Matias Garcia-Martinez, 32, of Villa Juarez, Sinaloa, Mexico, was sentenced to 60 months;
  • Carlos Erasmo Medina-Amador, 28, of Sonoita, Sonora, Mexico, was sentenced to 87 months;
  • Jesus Francisco Felix-Ramirez, 23, of Tamasura, Durango, Mexico, was sentenced to 50 months;
  • Carlos Ivan Nunez-Estrada, 33, of Sonora, Mexico, was sentenced to 60 months;
  • Antonio Ramirez-Rios, 40, of Sinaloa, Mexico, was sentenced to 70 months;
  • Manuel Esteban Portillo-Avilez, 46, of Chihuahua, Mexico, was sentenced to 60 months;
  • Jose Orlando Linares-Sanchez, 26, of San Salvador, El Salvador, was sentenced to 674 days (time served);
  • Douglas Mariaga-Munoz, 26, of Cortez, Honduras, was sentenced to 674 days (time served);
  • Jose Lorenzo Osorto-Calix, 22, of La Ceiba, Atlantida, Honduras, was sentenced to 674 days (time served);
  •  Jose Nunez-Estrada, 21, of Tamazula, Durango, Mexico, was sentenced to 65 months;
  •  David Jimenez-Perez, 22, of Chiapas, Mexico, was sentenced to 20 months;
  •  Armando Ramirez-Garcia, 34, of Arenitas, Sinaloa, Mexico, was sentenced to 35 months;
  • Jose Angel Lozano-Raigoza, 39, of Sonoita, Sonora, Mexico, was sentenced to 35 months;
  • Raynard Joseph Antone, 43, of Pia Oik Village, Arizona, was sentenced to 15 months;
  • Adriana Fonseca-Dominguez, 36, of Chihuahua, Mexico, was sentenced to 24 months;
  • Edgar Raul Arellano-Garcia, 31, of Chihuahua, Mexico, was sentenced to 87 months.

“This successful operation highlights the importance of our federal law enforcement partnerships and the unique investigative authorities of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI),” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge for HSI Phoenix.

“When federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement bands together, we send a clear message to the cartel. You will not operate on the border with impunity.”

Ericka Conant

Ericka Conant has served as a Digital Content Producer since October 2019.

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