UPDATE 8/23/13 @ 9:45 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) --The man that federal authorities called the “Kingpin” of a major marijuana conspiracy that stretched from Mexico to the Huntington area and southeast Ohio has been arrested in Mexico.
The U.S. Marshals Service says Moises Gamboa, 48, was arrested Friday in Rocky Point, Mexico, by Mexican authorities.
In 2010, Gamboa was one of 20 people indicted by a federal court grand jury for their involvement in a major marijuana distribution conspiracy.
According to court documents, he's pulled in around $5 million dollars in proceeds. The others have pulled in a total of $10 million dollars.
Federal authorities say Gamboa, who is a Mexican citizen, fled the U.S. before being indicted. They say he is also wanted in several other states for similar drug trafficking offenses, and is also alleged to have ties to other notorious Mexican drug cartels.
“Mr. Gamboa allegedly sold thousands of pounds of marijuana and collected millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains as a member of notorious drug trafficking organization. Thanks to the exemplary work of law enforcement and particular, the US Marshals Service, this fugitive is in federal custody, where he belongs,” said US Attorney Booth Goodwin.
Gamboa will now face extradition hearings in Mexico and will likely be return to W.Va. to face the federal charges.
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The ring stretches from Mexico to the Huntington area and southeast Ohio moving thousands of pounds of the drug.
Dealers netted millions of dollars before they were caught.
It's a drug ring that encompasses nearly twenty people from Mexico to West Virginia. The latest development netting ten suspects. Moises Gamboa or “Mo” is considered the kingpin. According to court documents, he's pulled in around $5 million dollars in proceeds. The others have pulled in a total of $10 million dollars.
This conspiracy dates back to 2002 with another seven suspects set to be sentenced in the next several months. From 2008 through 2009, Ricky Young Jr. and Sean Crager sold marijuana in the Barboursville area would also front the drug to folks with the expectation of repayment.
Sean Crager was charged for the distribution and resale of marijuana in the Huntington area.
Ian McFarlane was charged with transporting truckloads of marijuana for a drug trafficking organization (“DTO”) based in Arizona and Mexico. Officers located about 800 pounds of marijuana and earned about $250,000 for his services.
Finally, Paul Wheeler was trafficking in Huntington. During a search of his home, officers recovered more than $93,000 from marijuana sales, 5.4 kg of marijuana and numerous firearms including assault rifles and large amounts of ammunition.
It's a big catch that law enforcement hopes will put a serious dent in the local drug trade.
Potential sentences on the suspects range from as little as five years all the way to life.