Winchester residents linked to Mexican cartel

Virginia

Four Winchester men have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Harrisonburg, Va. for their alleged involvement with a Mexican drug cartel. 

Daniel Gomez-Barajas, 28, Miguel Patricio-Cajero, 32, Isdro Ramos-Bojorquez, 48, and Ritchie Triplett, 55, have all been charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroin, and marijuana in the United States.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the four men were members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, also known as the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion, which the Department of Justice calls one of the top five most dangerous transnational organizations in the world. 

A total of 12 people were named in the indictments, which were unsealed Monday. This announcement comes after three other members of the cartel who were active in the Winchester and Frederick County area were sentenced earlier this year.

“This investigation demonstrates the extensive reach of Mexican drug cartels and the dangers posed by their presence and activities in the Western District of Virginia and across the Commonwealth,” said Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge of DEA Washington Field Division, in a press release. “The DEA will continue to work with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office, to hold these powerful cartels accountable for the destruction they cause.”

One of those partners is the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Taskforce, which a number of local law enforcement agencies are a part of, including the Winchester Police Department. 

Winchester Police Chief John Piper says he currently has two officers involved directly in the task force, and will soon have a third. While some people may be surprised to learn of the cartel’s activity in the area, Piper says the choice of Winchester makes sense geographically.

We have easy access to port cities like Baltimore and certainly Interstate 81 that comes right through the city, he said. But he added, It’s disturbing to see these cartels, these people with a propensity of violence and the organizational structure that the cartels have, coming out of countries like Mexico, that they are in fact involved in distributing cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin to the city and its residents.

Prosecutors say the defendants indicted were actively moving drugs through the region from January of 2015 until February of this year. 

Below is the full list of defendants named:

  1. Ramon Carillo-Ruvalcaba, a.k.a. “The Barber” one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.
  2. Eduardo Contreras-Devora, one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, and marijuana and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
  3. Daniel Gomez-Barajas, one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.
  4. Roman Idearte-Bolanos, one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.
  5. Alberto Jijon, one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.
  6. Miguel Angel Patricio-Cajero, one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.
  7. Isdro Ramos-Bojorquez, a.k.a. “Chilo” one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.
  8. Jesus Rogelio Ramirez, a.k.a. “Jesse” one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.
  9. Jonathan Rocas-Osorio, a.k.a. “Oscar Osorio-Munoz” one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.
  10. Ana Bella Sanchez-Rios, one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, and marijuana and one count of money laundering.
  11. Ritchie Triplett, one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.
  12. Ernesto Valenzuela-Flores, a.k.a. “Juan Flores-Arrellano” one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.

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