The head of a Mexican drug trafficking organization was sentenced in Charlotte Wednesday to 11 years in prison, Acting U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose said.
Carlos Ramon Castro-Rocha, 41, of Sinaloa, Mexico, ran an extensive network that included producing heroin in Mexico, smuggling the drug across the border and distributing it in Charlotte and other cities, court records show.
In September 2007, law enforcement seized about six pounds of black tar heroin that had been trafficked to Charlotte through Castro-Rocha’s network as well as about $110,000 and a handgun, according to court documents. In August 2008, law enforcement twice seized about a kilogram of the drug, prosecutors said.
From 2005 to 2008, Castro-Rocha’s network trafficked up to 10 kilograms of black tar heroin in the Charlotte area alone, with a street value of about $1.2 million, according to court records.
Castro-Rocha was indicted in federal court in Charlotte in 2009. He was arrested in Mexico, where he filed several unsuccessful appeals to avoid extradition. He was extradited in 2012.
Castro-Rocha pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to import heroin and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin. The investigation also led to the prosecution of 11 defendants associated with his network.
Castro-Rocha is scheduled to be transferred to Arizona to face other federal drug trafficking charges.
His prosecution stemmed from “Operation Dirty Girl II,” the local part of the national “Project Deliverance” effort to curtail illegal narcotics into the country. “Dirty Girl” is the street name for black tar heroin, a highly dangerous form of heroin.