Young Mom 25, CEO of Minnesotas largest Meth Ring Ever

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Young Mom 25, CEO of Minnesotas largest Meth Ring Ever

senorjoe
This post was updated on .

http://www.startribune.com/prosecutors-say-young-mom-is-ceo-of-one-of-minnesota-s-biggest-meth-trafficking-cells/482233642/



Macrina Perez hardly cuts an imposing presence.

But federal prosecutors are alleging that the 25-year-old mother of two, with roots in both Minnesota and Mexico, has in her young life managed to lead one of the biggest meth trafficking cells Minnesota has ever seen.

“Ms. Perez is as connected to Mexican drug cartels based on this evidence as anyone I have ever prosecuted, and it’s somewhat remarkable,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David Steinkamp told a judge this month in one of Perez’s first court appearances since being arrested in April at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Drug agents have been investigating the cell at least three years, and a May 2016 takedown of a Brooklyn Center stash house netted a historic 140 pounds of meth found throughout the home. Much of it was packed tightly into plastic quart-sized bags for distribution, but agents also found liquid meth cooling in a freezer and residue left behind in roasting pans in the kitchen.

Perez’s alleged involvement has been kept secret until now. She was charged nearly two years ago in a sealed indictment that relied on cooperation from several informants whose identities are still protected by the government.

“She wasn’t the courier,” Steinkamp said in court this month. “She’s the CEO of this organization. She’s running it.”

But Perez may soon win early release, under GPS monitoring, to await trial after her attorney successfully lobbied against federal detention. Countering prosecutors’ assertions that Perez is a cartel operative, attorney Gary Wolf argued that as a U.S. citizen with family here, she does not pose a flight risk. “She is adamant about fighting this case out,” Wolf said Wednesday.

Authorities hailed the May 2016 raid as the biggest meth seizure in state history. Still the largest bust of a Minnesota residence to date — agents now regularly haul in comparable or bigger seizures on the highways — the case has come to presage a resurgence of pure, cheap Mexican-made meth being pumped into Minnesota for both sale here and shipment to neighboring states. Minnesota officials now describe the state as awash with twin drug crises, between meth and opioids.

Before learning of the alleged role Perez and her husband, who has not been charged, played in supplying wholesale amounts of meth to the Twin Cities metro, investigators tracked a local drug dealer, Nicholas Nelson, to the Brooklyn Center stash house in late 2015 and early 2016. Nelson and a north metro couple who helped manage the stash house — Dolores Ludmilla Castillo and Francisco Silvestre-Martinez — were each indicted in the same case that led to charges against Perez and are now serving federal prison terms after pleading guilty.

According to court records, agents also found $130,000 in cash stored in a safe and a revolver at the home. A DEA officer testified last week that travel documents with Perez’s name were also found, and that confidential sources said Perez supplied the gun to Castillo to protect the house.

Thomas Maloney, the task force officer, said that Perez and Castillo struck up a friendship in 2013 before Perez “cultivated” her to begin taking mailed meth parcels of up to 5 to 10 pounds each. Castillo’s role soon evolved to managing the stash house, where vehicles regularly dropped off 30- to 50-pound shipments. The DEA has described the case as “very complex” and with “large networks of individuals and vehicles.”

At least one of the government’s sources has also been charged, and pleaded guilty before cooperating, Maloney told Perez’s attorney during cross-examination last week. At one point during Perez’s detention hearing, Steinkamp asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Franklin Noel to disregard earlier testimony about Perez providing the gun because that information could reveal one informant’s identity.

“This is a very, very dangerous situation, and I am not overstating it,” he said.

Prosecutors also say Perez left the U.S. in 2014 after being questioned by Rogers police over a meth shipment that she and a 16-year-old girl allegedly tried to pick up from a hotel. Within days, Perez, the girl and Perez’s fiancé allegedly fled to Mexico, Maloney testified. Hotel staff also said Silvestre-Martinez picked up a similar package delivered to the hotel a week earlier.

Perez may soon be released to await trial while under GPS home monitoring, despite pleas from the government that she could escape prosecution “given her connection to the higher levels here.”

“I submit to you that we will never see her again if you release her, even to a halfway house,” Steinkamp said.

Steinkamp argued that Perez’s “youth, her appearance belie the fact that she was extraordinarily involved in this large-scale drug trafficking organization.” The amount, and purity, of meth Perez is accused of supplying will carry the possibility of decades in prison, potentially a life sentence, he said.

Wolf said Perez was arrested during one of her frequent trips across the border to shop for her family. No drugs, guns or cash were inside her car at the time of her arrest, he said. The night before Perez’s latest hearing, Wolf said, he was handed a stack of “filthy, dirty, crinkled up money” from relatives for his services.

“If she’s involved, she’s going to be the flea on the tail of the dog, not Dr. Evil,” Wolf said.

Also link to story about the rise of Meth in MINN: http://www.startribune.com/meth-crisis-roaring-back-how-cartels-infiltrated-meth-s-lethal-path-to-state/480680891/
J
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Re: Young Mom 25, CEO of Minnesotas largest Meth Ring Ever

J
Thanks for posting this.....These rings are heavy in these types of places, and the human factor behind them is always fascinating and heartbreaking at the same time.
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Re: Young Mom 25, CEO of Minnesotas largest Meth Ring Ever

huero minuto
I lost compassion for the female meth dealer years ago, though i once had compassion.  So many lives are ruined by this shit and while life circumstances are unfortunate, dope dealers will do/say anything to rationalize meth, calling it medicine, sayin they're helping the poor by giving them money/ work.
    I just look around, see all the homeless meth heads fighting/stealing (tho most addicts have homes) and its a fucking joke.
    If, and its a big if, one does get popped, they often get quietly released. few do more than 5 years.   Lets see some do serious time for a serious offense.  Theres a saying amongst dope dealers, "you don't stay in jail for long if you've got friends".
  Or better yet just legalize Meth.  Though i hate that shit i'd rather the US govt make money off off it than certain dope dealing families putting mugrero the community.  Oh yeah, i forgot, the govt makes more money arresting and incarcerating smalltime users, not the dealers!  
 Whew, rant over
 
Jstanothercoyo
J
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Re: Young Mom 25, CEO of Minnesotas largest Meth Ring Ever

J
Who would buy the meth if it was legal.....The companies would all market to the poor and underprivileged communities, the same way many do with legal marijuana.  

It isn't that she is female, it's that often these people have an entirely different view of the game they are in, esp. ones in Mexico, farmers and transporters, it is simply a way to make a living in a place that doesn't offer much.
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Re: Young Mom 25, CEO of Minnesotas largest Meth Ring Ever

canadiana
Administrator
You are right it seems it is the lower income communities that seem to be in the vices the most and these are the least 1's to afford them.Take gambling and cigarettes, prime examples.How many rich people smoke on a regular basis or do pot,meth opiates?Few and far between compared to the poor and marginalized.The odd rich man's kid gets into opiods and the odd 1 smokes cigarettes but they can well afford it anyway.In my opinion rich guy's vices are much different like escorts or something different that might be shopping or deviant sexuality in nature.You go into any convenience store or gas station and see what people driving old jalopies are lined up for lottery scratch tickets and smokes.Guess they look at only way to get out of poverty is winning a lottery or possibly drug dealing as all their friends will buy so it's good business.
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Re: Young Mom 25, CEO of Minnesotas largest Meth Ring Ever

huero minuto
In reply to this post by J
I was thinking more along the lines of taking the meth/dope dealers source of income away. There are more victims than just the users. The amount of murders/violence due to the dealers "perceived" threats is quite large. Got to keep power, enforce and teach folks a lesson..... watch the corners, pay off the yada yada ya. Its just these famlies are getting stronger not weaker, and by taking an important income stream away, maybe they stop selling their bad dope thus losing power and respect(fear) and then people can see them for what they are without their doped up fake glory Say that young woman gets off easy for some reason, the people see that. Thats why we say "you dont stay in for long, if you got freinds.
Jstanothercoyo
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Re: Young Mom 25, CEO of Minnesotas largest Meth Ring Ever

senorjoe
In reply to this post by huero minuto
Agree 100% my younger brother became a meth addict, life is ruined by this poison. He is now living in recovery.