Six Charged in Large-Scale Cocaine and Heroin Trafficking Ring
PITTSBURGH—Six persons have been indicted by a federal grand jury sitting in the Western District of Pennsylvania on various federal narcotics and immigration charges, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
The three-count indictment, returned on Dec. 10, named Olufemi Young, 35 of Ainsworth Street, Pittsburgh, PA; Tayde Torres, 33 of Fullerton, CA; Javier Ochoa, 52 of Tolleson, Arizona; Hector Armenta-Cardenas, 39 of Fontana, CA; Francisco Javier Campos-Ortega, 30 of Yucaipa, CA; and Joel Rodriguez, 45 of Fontana, CA. All six defendants are alleged to have conspired together to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, while defendants Campos-Ortega and Rodriguez were charged with the possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. In addition, Armenta-Cardenas was charged with unlawful re-entry into the United States by a deported alien.
According to the indictment and information disclosed to courts in prior judicial proceedings, Olufemi Young is alleged to be a large-scale trafficker of cocaine and heroin in Pittsburgh. Since his release from federal prison in 2011, law enforcement has collected evidence demonstrating that Young has conspired to import multiple kilogram quantities of cocaine and heroin into the Western District of Pennsylvania, with these narcotics coming mainly from California and Arizona. Young’s primary suppliers of these narcotics were, as alleged: Torres Armenta-Cardenas, and Ochoa. In April of 2014, law enforcement seized nearly $260,000 in cash from individuals associated with Ochoa in Munhall, Pa. At that time, law enforcement also recovered an “owe sheet,” indicating that Young had purchased 10 kilograms of cocaine and two kilograms of heroin from Ochoa and his co-conspirators. In May of 2014, law enforcement seized another $660,000 in cash from Ochoa and Young in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh. In the late summer of 2014, law enforcement began wiretap interceptions of telephones utilized by Young and Armenta-Cardenas, and pursuant to those interceptions, law enforcement stopped a tractor trailer, being driven by Campos-Ortega and Rodriguez, in Somerset County, Pa., on Nov. 10, 2014. This tractor trailer was carrying 19 kilograms of cocaine destined for Pittsburgh and multiple pallets of food bound for Wal-Mart. Five of the six defendants have been arrested; Tayde Torres remains a fugitive.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence for Young, Ochoa, Torres, and Armenta-Cardenas of up to life in prison, a fine of $10,000,000, or both. Young and Armenta-Cardenas, who have prior federal felony narcotics convictions, face a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison, while Ochoa and Torres face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. Campos-Ortega and Rodriguez face a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Eric S. Rosen is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Munhall Police Department, Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, Pennsylvania Attorney General, and the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case. An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.