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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Montana
Jesse Laslovich, United States Attorney
Contact: Clair J. Howard,
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

California Man Admits Trafficking More Than 12 Pounds of Meth to Silver Bow County

MISSOULA — A California man indicted as part of large drug conspiracy that had ties to the Sinaloa Cartel and brought methamphetamine and other drugs to Butte for redistribution admitted to a trafficking crime on Monday after law enforcement seized more than 12 pounds of meth from his vehicle, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

The defendant, Raymond Perez Ramos, 31, of Long Beach, California, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute meth. Ramos faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided. Sentencing was set for Aug. 14 before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen. Ramos was released pending further proceedings. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The government alleged in court documents that from about October 2019 to November 2020 in Butte, Ramos and co-defendant, Travis Bridger Soderberg, possessed meth with intent to distribute the drug. Soderberg was previously sentenced to eight years in prison for his conviction in the case. In August 2020, Ramos asked if others had “work” for him and that others told Ramos “work” was indeed available but that he needed to keep quiet about “whatever we got going on.”  Agents interpreted “work” to mean transporting meth. In November 2020, Ramos transported 12.5 pounds of meth, which is approximately 5,600 doses, to Montana for re-distribution. When Ramos arrived in Montana, law enforcement seized his vehicle and recovered meth that was hidden inside the door.

Vehicle compartment containing Methamphetamine.

Methamphetamine on tailgate of truck

Photos of the recovered meth. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

The multi-agency undercover investigation into a large-scale, Butte-based drug trafficking organization that had ties to the Sinaloa Cartel has resulted in the federal convictions of 22 other persons.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon is prosecuting the case.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and Montana Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation led the investigation, with assistance from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Montana Highway Patrol, the Southwest Montana Drug Task Force, Butte Silver Bow Law Enforcement and Butte Silver Bow County Attorney’s Office.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (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.


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