PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The leader of a Mexican-based heroin trafficking ring that distributed the drug to cells operating in and around Portland and in southwestern Washington was sentenced Monday to just over eight years in federal prison.
Paul Alberto Guillen, 27, is the last of 24 defendants sentenced from the ring, and was the organizer based in Mexico who occasionally traveled to Portland, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
The federal wiretap investigation started with federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents focused on one Portland dealer selling heroin and oxycodone pills from his home, according to prosecutors.
Investigators identified his supply source in 2014 and began a more comprehensive investigation. Guillen oversaw the weekly distribution of heroin from Nayarit, Mexico, and north to Portland with the help of three cousins, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Edmonds.
They distributed between 5 to 10 pounds of heroin weekly to the Portland area.
In late December 2014, agents seized seven pounds of heroin and more than $50,000 in cash during a stop of Guillen's cousin Alexis Guillen-Robles, after he was seen picking up money in Vancouver, Washington, from another cousin Christopher Guillen-Robles, according to the prosecutor.
Guillen pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Guillen’s lawyer Sohaye Lee said Guillen’s father was a significant drug dealer, and the drug trade was normalized for him.
Guillen apologized in court.