Feds: West Chester man pleads guilty to meth conspiracy, housing Mexican cartel chemist

The lead defendant in a southwest Ohio methamphetamine conspiracy pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today.

Salvador Ramirez (also known as Listo), 24, of West Chester Twp., is the final defendant to plead in the case involving six co-conspirators, including two from Butler County.

Ramirez and the others were arrested in July 2018 on federal charges of engaging in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy in the Miami Valley and across southern and central Ohio. They were charged with manufacturing and distributing narcotics and laundering their proceeds.

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As part of the case, DEA agents and task force members have seized more than 140 pounds of methamphetamine, seven kilograms of fentanyl, two kilograms of heroin and more than $130,000 in cash.

Co-conspirators who have already pleaded guilty include:

• Tamara McQueen, 21, of Hamilton

• Luiz Roberto Diaz-Magana, 29, of Queretaro, Mexico

• Jesus Garcia, aka “Jesse Garcia”, 49, of West Chester Twp.

• Joshua L. Leach, 34, of Plain City

• Brandi Danyell Loy, aka Brandi Richey, 34, of Plain City

• Takeea Trammell, 41, of Dayton

As part of his plea, Ramirez admitted to arranging bulk deliveries of meth, fentanyl and heroin and then overseeing redistribution of the drugs to dealers from Columbus to Dayton. He also personally collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds.

Ramirez and McQueen, as part of this scheme, traveled from southern Ohio to California in April 2018 to acquire bulk amounts of the drugs to sell in Ohio. During their drive back to Ohio, law enforcement in Wyoming discovered their car and the contraband within it. Ramirez and McQueen, however, eluded police in Wyoming and fled back to southern Ohio where they resumed their drug trafficking, officials said.

Upon returning to West Chester, Ramirez began accepting delivery of kilogram quantities of meth from Texas and elsewhere in the southern U.S. He would keep the drugs in various storage lockers throughout Southern Ohio until he could find a buyer for him.

Finally, as part of the conspiracy, Ramirez and his associates planned to open in southern Ohio their own laboratory to manufacture large quantities of meth. To aid this plan, Ramirez was providing housing and security for a chemist that a Mexican cartel sent to the area for the purpose of opening the laboratory, officials said.

Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute this amount of methamphetamine is a crime punishable by a sentence of at least 10 years and up to life in prison.

“Today’s guilty plea of Ramirez represents the end of this organization’s ability to cause further destruction in our communities,” Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Plancon said. “Methamphetamine trafficking will not be tolerated in southern Ohio and law enforcement will continue to work tirelessly to bring individuals like Ramirez to justice.”

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