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International drug trafficking ring busted by feds in Detroit

September 20, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
International drug trafficking ring busted by feds in Detroit

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Feds bust international drug trafficking ring in Detroit

A multimillion-dollar international drug trafficking ring and money laundering organization based in Detroit, Michigan was busted by ICE Homeland Security Investigations, and now special agents are on the hunt for a fugitive.

The members of the criminal organization, including Elva Medrano, Merced Alvarado, Jonathan Lee Galvan, Raymundo Aguilar Perea, and Carlos Misael Ramirez-Zuniga were all indicted, but law enforcement officials are still trying to find Perea so he can go through the court system for his purported role in the illegal enterprise.

ICE HSI reported that the drug trafficking ring has been in business since the early 2000s. The criminals were based in Lansing, Michigan and brought drugs to seven other states, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas.

Bruno Genrich, the group supervisor for Homeland Security Investigations in Detroit, said in a statement: “It was a cocaine smuggling organization. The drugs are smuggled through Texas, and they’re traveled up to Michigan.”

According to ClickonDetroit, the investigation was launched in 2014 after agents in Columbus, Ohio were tipped off about the ring.

“This is a really unique investigation for us where we were able to identify all the components of this organization and arrest the smuggler down in southern Texas, the distribution organization up in Michigan and the couriers who were bringing the money back and forth,” Genrich stated.

Some of the carriers worked for a Mexican cartel.

“They were distributing the narcotics, collecting the proceeds, giving them to couriers from southern Texas and then the couriers were working for a Mexican organization,” Genrich added.

Surveillance was conducted on the organization’s drug house in Lansing. Elva Medrano and William Marti Camacho, who is known by his nickname “Mesa,” are mother and son, and were taken into custody in Lansing where they are from.

The international drug trafficking ring concealed drugs and money in hollowed out coolers as part of their plot.

“If they get pulled over by police, they don’t see anything. Then when they get up here, they remove the drugs from the coolers and put the money they collect from the sales of drugs back into the cooler and take it back down, ultimately going to Mexico,” Genrich said.

ICE HSI announced that they believe Perea is in Mexico but has friends in the Detroit-area so they are hopeful that someone will come forward with information that will lead to his apprehension.

Merced Alvarado was sentenced to just over ten years behind bars. Jonathan Galvan was sentenced to four years, Elva Medrano was sentenced to three years, and Carlos Misael Ramirez Zuniga was sentenced to a little over five years on Thursday.

Zuniga and Alvarado are not U.S citizens, thus, after they complete their sentence, they will be deported out of the country.

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