MEDFORD, Ore. — A Klamath Falls man charged for his part in a southern Oregon drug trafficking ring was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon
24-year-old Rogelio Gomez-Arias was charged in October of 2019 alongside four others, all accused of participation in a drug smuggling operation that brought methamphetamine and heroin from Mexico for sale in the Klamath Falls area.
According to court documents, an investigation into Gomez-Arias' organization began in May 2018. Investigators in southern Oregon learned that someone in Mexico was supplying the group with meth in exchange for cash and firearms, instructing them to transport the narcotics to other cities on the West Coast "and beyond."
In August 2019, investigators conducted three "controlled buys" with Gomez-Arias, buying three pounds of meth.
"During these purchases, Gomez-Arias directed other members of his organization and openly explained his history of drug dealing," the U.S. Attorney's Office said. "He explained in detail how he started selling small quantities of drugs and then moved up to ounces and, later, pounds. He bragged of making $500,000 in a single week and transporting drugs to other cities, including Seattle and New York."
That information was corroborated when law enforcement stopped a co-conspirator on his way to New York with more than 700 grams of fentanyl, the federal prosecutors said.
By the beginning of October, multiple law enforcement agencies began an operation to "dismantle" the drug smuggling ring, executing four search warrants between Klamath Falls and Dorris, California. Police seized more than 37 pounds of meth, 440 grams of heroin, 14 guns, and almost $50,000 in cash. Five men were arrested during the operation, including Gomez-Arias.
Gomez-Arias pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to "conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine."
Three of Gomez-Arias co-conspirators remain in custody pending trial. A fourth is on pre-trial release.