Portland/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 19, 2024
Leader of International Drug Traffic Ring Sentenced to Over 11 Years in Federal Prison in OregonSource: Unsplash/ Tingey Injury Law Firm

Victor Diaz-Ramirez, the leader of an international drug trafficking ring that has been operating in Oregon's Lane County, was sentenced to federal prison on Tuesday. The 33-year-old headed an organization responsible for smuggling significant amounts of methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine into the state between 2018 and 2020. According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Diaz-Ramirez will serve 135 months behind bars followed by five years of supervised release.

"While communities across our state continue to struggle with the ongoing drug crisis, there are criminal enterprises, like the Diaz-Ramirez drug trafficking organization, whose sole purpose is to profit from addiction and suffering," stated Nathan J. Lichvarcik, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eugene and Medford Branch Offices, in a statement released by the U.S. Attorney's Office. He emphasized the law enforcement agencies' "deep commitment" to actively combat drug trafficking and safeguard communities. Special Agent in Charge David F. Reames of the DEA Seattle Field Division noted that their hard work has significantly disrupted the drug trafficking organization and brought justice in this case.

The investigation, which stretched across several years, involved multiple law enforcement agencies and resulted in the seizure of over 178 pounds of methamphetamine, 12 pounds of heroin, and six pounds of fentanyl, as well as firearms and a large sum of cash. Court documents cited by the U.S. Attorney's Office reveals that Diaz-Ramirez operated out of Mexico and used a network of associates to funnel drugs through Southern California into Oregon. The profits from these sales were then returned to Mexico.

A total of 35 individuals have been charged and convicted for their association with the drug trafficking organization, including sources of supply in Mexico, couriers, local cell operators in Lane County, and distributors around Eugene. It was on August 5, 2020, that a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Diaz-Ramirez for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty on November 1, 2023, to a one-count superseding criminal information charging him with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

The case was a concerted effort by the DEA, FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, Springfield Police Department, Eugene Police Department, Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, and several local narcotics enforcement teams. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Huynh and Judi Harper prosecuted the case, which was part of a larger Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation aimed at dismantling top-level drug trafficking and criminal organizations.