Federal Inmate Allegedly Orchestrates Massive Drug Trafficking Ring from Prison Cell Across Nine States Including North Dakota and California

Federal Inmate Allegedly Orchestrates Massive Drug Trafficking Ring from Prison Cell Across Nine States Including North Dakota and California

In a major legal development today, federal authorities in North Dakota have unsealed an indictment accusing a federal inmate and eight others of trafficking methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl internationally.

Allegations Against Celestin-Ortega

Jesus Amurahaby Celestin-Ortega, also known as Flaco, 26, is accused of running drug and money laundering schemes and leading a criminal enterprise while serving time on unrelated charges at a federal prison.

Allegedly using a smuggled cellphone, Celestin-Ortega orchestrated the importation and distribution of over 500 grams of methamphetamine, more than a kilogram of heroin, and more than 400 grams of fentanyl.

His operations spanned across multiple states including North Dakota, Minnesota, California, and others, with plans to launder proceeds back to Mexico.

Co-Conspirators and Charges

Eight individuals are named as co-conspirators in the indictment.

They include Trinidad Torres Meraz, Edgar Hernandez (also known as Ivan Edgar Hernandez Vasquez), Maria De La Cruz Estrada Moreno, Jesse Rocha, Rafael Bueno-Nava, Ryan James Stevens, Christian Ivan Gonzalez, and Martina Lucia Mendez.

They are charged with participating in drug distribution conspiracies, with five of them additionally accused of conspiring to import drugs from Mexico into the U.S. Three others face money laundering charges related to these activities.

Legal Consequences

If convicted, the defendants could face life imprisonment for drug distribution and importation charges, along with up to 20 years for money laundering.

Law Enforcement and Prosecution

The announcement was made by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, U.S. Attorney Mac Schneider for the District of North Dakota, and other officials from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), and IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

The case is part of a broader Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces operation.

Investigation and Support

Investigative efforts involved multiple agencies including HSI, DEA, USPIS, IRS-CI, the Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Grand Forks Police Department, with crucial assistance from the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ National Gang Unit.

The Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section’s Special Operations Unit and the Office of Enforcement Operations also provided vital support.

Legal Proceedings

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Lernik Begian and Tara Arndt of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, alongside Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher C. Myers and Matthew P. Kopp for the District of North Dakota.

Legal Disclaimer

It’s important to note that an indictment is an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Breaking News

TDPel Media

This article was published on TDPel Media. Thanks for reading!

Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn

Advertisement
Advertisement: Download Vital Signs App (VS App)

Advertisement: App Distribution)