Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Southern District of Indiana

For Immediate Release

July 17, 2012

Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney

Contact: Tim Horty
(317) 229-2409

Hogsett Announces 20 Year Sentence for Washington-Area Methamphetamine Dealer

INDIANAPOLIS– Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today that Mario Rodas, a/k/a Ruben Echavarria, age 31, of Washington, has been sentenced to 240 months (20 years) in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson. This follows his guilty plea to charges of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and conspiring to engage in money laundering.

""Working with law enforcement here in Daviess County, we have dismantled this dangerous drug trafficking organization and ensured that those behind it will never walk the streets of Washington again," Hogsett said. "I hope that these significant sentences serve as a warning across this portion of the state as to how seriously we treat the importation of drugs and death into Hoosier communities.

Rodas was the chief lieutenant of a methamphetamine and marijuana trafficking operation that operated in the Washington and Vincennes area from approximately August 2009 through December 9, 2010. Federal authorities believe the operation was responsible for distributing at least fifteen pounds of methamphetamine per month.

Among other allegations, the criminal organization, headed by Washington resident Jose Vasquez-Silva, also perpetuated an attempted a violent home invasion of an apartment in Pimento, Indiana on June 27, 2010. Vasquez-Silva was sentenced to 300 months (25 years) in federal prison on April 23, 2012.

This case was the result of a historic investigation involving federal, state, and local resources. Partners include the Drug Enforcement Administration; United States Marshals Service; ATF; Internal Revenue Service; Homeland Security Investigations; Indiana State Police; Vincennes Police Department; Washington Police Department; Daviess County Sheriff's Department; Vigo County Sheriff's Department; Gibson County Sheriff's Department.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley A. Blackington, who prosecuted the case for the government, Rodas will be deported to Guatemala following the completion of his sentence.