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Drug trafficker used Facebook to run U.S. distribution network from Mexico: Feds

December 1, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Drug trafficker used Facebook to run U.S. distribution network from Mexico: Feds

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A Mexican drug trafficker managed to illegally come into the U.S. and build a distribution network in Washington state using Facebook after he fled Mexico because of a weapons probe.

Starting in 2010, Jesus Enrique “El Ricky” Palomera entered the U.S. by paying a human smuggler or “coyote” $6,000 and traveled to Tacoma, Washington. Once he arrived, Palomera set up a distribution network that spanned the entire state.

Federal officials started looking into Palomera as part of an investigation focusing on the illegal sale of firearms.

Court records indicate that one of the dealers claimed to be able to get his hands on various rifles, handguns, and grenades.

Even though Palomera was in the U.S. illegally and unable to legally buy weapons, he purchased an AR-15-type rifle that he later sold to an undercover cop.

During the conversations that Palomares and undercover officials had, the drug lord talked about the slaying of a man who robbed drugs from him.

Before authorities could apprehend him, Palomera fled to Mexico where he was able to manage his drug enterprise.

Hiding in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Palomera received drug orders through Facebook.

After customers wired cash to a Mexican bank account,

Palomera would tell his associates to move meth shipments from Mexico into California, Oregon, and Washington for delivery.

According to a U.S. Department of Justice press release, Palomares was taken into custody by Mexican officials in 2015 and was extradited to Washington in 2016.

Earlier this month, Palomares pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges and is expected to be sentenced in February.

Palomera’s co-conspirator on the case, James E. Roberts, of Tacoma, was sentenced in 2015 to ten years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for his role in the drug distribution ring.

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