Example of heroin in shoes
SAN DIEGO — While Drug Enforcement Administration San Diego Special Agent in Charge William R. Sherman announced, “This country is in the midst of the worst opioid epidemic in history,” Jose Rafael Camacho-Ontiveros (aka Rafa), the alleged leader of a Mexican heroin trafficking organization, was extradited Wednesday to the United States by Mexico, and made his first appearance in federal court.
The Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed that a federal grand jury in San Diego returned an indictment on October 14, 2011, charging Camacho-Ontiveros and 11 other alleged members of the Mexican heroin trafficking organization.
Camacho-Ontiveros was charged with engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to distribute heroin and conspiracy to commit money laundering. That same day, the Clerk of the Court issued a sealed warrant for his arrest. Six defendants remain fugitives.
A Mexican drug trafficking organization that smuggled white heroin across the Southwest Border destined for various cities along the East Coast was investigated in February 2010 by the DEA.
Agents uncovered the organization’s preferred smuggling method of placing the heroin in the soles of its couriers’ shoes. They intercepted thirty-eight telephones during this year-long investigation resulting in fourteen heroin and money seizures throughout the United States.
Camacho-Ontiveros was flown by the United States Marshals Service from Mexico City to San Diego, arraigned Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge William Gallo. and is scheduled to appear for a detention hearing today.
This case is the result of ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute high-level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and enterprises.
Acting United States Attorney Alana Robinson stated, “Greedy drug traffickers are saturating our country with heroin, and the results are devastating. We will continue to aggressively pursue those responsible for the opioid crisis in the United States.”