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April 28, 2021Denver, CO, United StatesNarcotics

HSI investigated Colorado man for drug trafficking

DENVER — A Colorado man was sentenced to 10.5 years in federal prison following his prior guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.

Matthew T. Kirsch, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Colorado made the announcement with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Eber Uriel Perez-Ramirez, 29, of Aurora, Colorado was remanded immediately after sentencing.

“HSI working with the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) helped disrupt a transnational drug trafficking organization with direct ties to a Mexican cartel that sought to bring illegal drugs into Colorado,” said Steven Cagen, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Denver. “Strong partnerships among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are critical to identifying and dismantling criminal enterprises that profit from illicit drugs. We’re grateful to the United States Attorney’s Office for ensuring Perez-Ramirez faced justice.”

According to the plea agreement and court documents, Perez-Ramirez acted as a lieutenant in a drug trafficking organization from October of 2019 until Feb. 12, 2020, when he was arrested by agents working with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) assigned to the Denver OCDETF Strike Force. The drug trafficking organization brought to Colorado large quantities of illegal drugs from Mexico, including methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. The organization employed a network of interstate load runners, local couriers, multi-pound drug customers and lieutenants to coordinate its activities.   

On three occasions between Oct. 15, 2019 and Dec. 5, 2019, Perez-Ramirez delivered pound quantities of methamphetamine to a confidential informant working with the FBI. The defendant also monitored the interstate transportation of a load run of narcotics between Oct. 21 through Oct. 23, 2019. Specifically, he delivered a real-time report to the organization concerning Utah law enforcement actions regarding the load vehicle. Ultimately, the load — 53 pounds of methamphetamine — was transferred to another vehicle, which was stopped by the Colorado State Patrol in Colorado.

Additionally, on Jan. 22, 2020, Perez-Ramirez sought to pick up a package containing more than five kilograms of methamphetamine that was being held at a leasing office in Denver. The FBI seized the package before the defendant was able to retrieve it.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office remains committed to making communities safer by prosecuting members of drug trafficking organizations,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Matt Kirsch.  “Together with our law enforcement partners, we are working to disrupt these organizations by making drug traffickers face significant jail time.”

“Friday’s sentencing of Perez-Ramirez is a direct result of the dedication and collaboration by FBI Denver and our partners to combat drug trafficking organizations who distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and fentanyl in our communities. The OCDETF Strike Force will aggressively investigate individuals and groups who further the scourge of drugs in our community,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider. “FBI Denver would like to extend our appreciation to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, DEA, HSI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), IRS and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for sharing their resources and expertise to fight dangerous drug trafficking organizations and bringing them to justice.”

“This sentencing is another step toward a safer community.  Not only is Perez-Ramirez going to prison for his crimes, but the government seized a significant amount of narcotics and kept them off the streets of Colorado,” said IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Andy Tsui.  “IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to stop the flow of illegal narcotics and bring these drug traffickers to justice.”

United States District Court Judge Raymond Moore sentenced Perez-Ramirez on April 23, 2021.

Agents and deputies assigned to the Strike Force from the FBI, ICE ERO, HSI, IRS and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation and were assisted by officers and deputies from the Colorado State Patrol and the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Cyrus Chung handled the prosecution of the case.

This prosecution is part of an OCDETF investigation.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

HSI is a directorate of ICE, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 Special Agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

To report a crime, call 866-347-2423 (TTY for hearing impaired: 802-872-6196) or visit the ICE Tip Line.