Man sentenced to 6 years for trafficking drugs

Article author: 
Nick Morgan
Article publisher: 
Mail Tribune
Article date: 
Friday, June 3, 2016
Article category: 
Article Body: 

An undocumented immigrant was sentenced to federal prison for distributing more than 22 pounds of heroin and methamphetamine found last year during a Central Point traffic stop.

Miguel Angel Reyna-Ramos, 38, was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison Thursday in U.S. District Court in Eugene. He pleaded guilty Jan. 21 to charges of possessing a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

On May 18, 2015, Oregon State Police troopers caught Reyna-Ramos with close to 8 kilograms of methamphetamine and 2 kilograms of heroin in the luggage compartment of the gray Mercury Mountaineer SUV he was driving, which they stopped near Exit 35 on northbound Interstate 5 for a traffic violation. According to a release issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, Reyna-Ramos originally declined a request to search the vehicle, but troopers later obtained a search warrant after a narcotics detection dog alerted them to drugs found in the back of the vehicle.

Court documents filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, where the case was originally filed, showed that police believed Reyna-Ramos was acting suspiciously at the time of the traffic stop. He possessed no driver's license, the vehicle was not registered to him and he had multiple cellphones in the vehicle.

Reyna-Ramos later told Medford DEA agents that he was working for a cartel based in Mexico. He told agents he'd been paid between $200 and $300 before to drive cars from his home in Tulare, Calif., to drop-off points near Tacoma, Wash. He told investigators he was instructed by a third party to pick up the SUV from a motel parking lot in Ontario, Calif., and drive to Spanaway, Wash., where he expected to be paid $1,000.

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane said he considered Reyna-Ramos' lack of criminal history in determining the sentence. Because Reyna-Ramos is undocumented, he will likely be deported upon completion of his sentence, the release says.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.