Leader of Klamath Falls Drug Trafficking Ring Indicted in Federal Court

By on Friday, October 1st, 2021 in Eastern/Southeast Oregon News More Top Stories

MEDFORD, OR-A federal grand jury in Medford has returned an indictment charging the leader and multiple associates of a Klamath Falls, Oregon area drug trafficking ring with conspiring with one another to transport large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl from California to Oregon for distribution and sale in and around Klamath Falls.

Juan Jessie Martinez-Gil, 57, a Mexican National residing in Reno, Nevada, has been charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl, distribution of methamphetamine and fentanyl, and attempted distribution of methamphetamine.

Nine of Martinez-Gil’s associates also face federal charges for their roles in the conspiracy. They include:

  • Elizabeth Irene Martinez-Agbalog, 47, of Reno, Nevada 
  • Anthony Wayne Smith, 56, of Midland, Oregon
  • Katherine Desiree O’Brien, 42, of Klamath Falls, Oregon
  • Larry Ralph Labeau Jr., 57, of Klamath Falls, Oregon
  • Bryce Allen Stewart, 57, of Klamath County, Oregon
  • Candice Nadine Mckee, 29, of Lakeview, Oregon
  • Peter Hill Mitchell, 40, of Lakeview, Oregon
  • Cole Edward Reeves, 51, of Klamath Falls, Oregon
  • Reynel Heriberto Ramos-Cornejo, 49, a Honduran National residing in Lynwood, California

According to the indictment, between August 1, 2019 and September 2, 2021, Martinez-Gil and his associates conspired with one another to possess and distribute large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl in the form of counterfeit Oxycodone pills.

A coordinated law enforcement operation was conducted on September 2, 2021, leading to the arrests of Martinez-Gil and other co-defendants. Federal search warrants were executed on five locations and two vehicles. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized approximately seventeen pounds of methamphetamine and seven-hundred counterfeit oxycodone pills.

Martinez-Gil made his initial appearance in federal court today in Portland before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. He was arraigned, pleaded not guilty, and ordered detained pending an eight-day jury trial scheduled to begin on December 14, 2021.

All of Martinez-Gil’s co-defendants have made their first appearances in federal court, including Ramos-Cornejo who was arraigned today in Portland.

If convicted, Martinez-Gil faces a maximum sentence of life in federal prison, 5 years’ supervised release, and a fine of $10 million.

Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with assistance from the Basin Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team (BINET), which is made up of members from the Oregon State Police, Klamath Falls Police Department, and the U.S. National Guard. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon. 

The DEA also received assistance from Homeland Security Investigations, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, the Central Point Police Department, the Torrance Police Department, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.