MISSOULA — A Sinaloa, Mexico drug trafficker who brought pounds of methamphetamine, along with heroin and oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, to Montana for distribution was sentenced on Oct. 29 to eight years in prison and five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said today.
Ricardo Ramos Medina, 34, pleaded guilty on June 25 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided.
The prosecution said in court documents that law enforcement learned Medina was distributing large amounts of meth in and around Montana and directed others to wire money back to Mexico. The conspiracy ran from about January 2019 to March 2020. Investigators conducted undercover buys from Medina, including purchases of meth, heroin and counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl.
In March, Medina was attempting to collect drug debts owed to him from various drug traffickers in the Butte area. Medina “fronted” the meth to co-conspirators, and he returned to Montana to collect the money from them. On March 18, law enforcement officers stopped Medina and found he was in possession of two pounds of meth.
In a sentencing memo, the prosecution said Medina was responsible for 16 pounds of meth, which is the equivalent of about 57,984 doses.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Weldon prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Postal Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation and Butte-Silver Bow Police.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime in Montana increased by 36% from 2013 to 2018. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.