Jury finds California man guilty of running drug ring from Jamestown prison

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted March 01, 2013, at 7:03 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A federal jury Friday found a California man guilty of using contraband cellphones while incarcerated at Jamestown prison to direct the distribution of drugs in Maine and other states, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Mark “Little Mexico” Razo, 23, of Los Angeles, Calif., was convicted on one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines between April and August 2011. He also was convicted on three counts of using a telephone to commit a federal drug crime.

The verdict came at the end of a five-day trial before U.S. District Judge John Woodcock in federal court in Bangor.

A sentencing date has not been set.

Razo was indicted by a federal grand jury in April with Barry “Lucky” Diaz, 30, of Stamford, Conn. Originally, Razo and Diaz were to be tried together. Their trials were severed so that Diaz could be treated for undisclosed mental health issues. A date for Diaz’s trial has not been set.

Razo was serving a sentence for a drug conviction at a prison in Jamestown, Calif., when he contacted Diaz. Diaz traveled to Iowa, Arizona, California, Connecticut and Maine to obtain and distribute drugs, according to the trial brief filed by federal prosecutors.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor said in his trial brief that Razo could not have participated in the conspiracy because he was incarcerated.

Information about how Razo obtained cellphones while in prison was not revealed in court documents.

Wiretaps on Diaz’s phone showed that he called Razo once on May 7, 2011, and twice on July 26, 2011, the jury, which deliberated for about two hours, found.

In June 2011, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Portland, who were monitoring the wiretap, learned that Razo had arranged for a four-pound shipment of methamphetamine to Iowa, according to a press release issued by the U.S. attorney’s office.

Law enforcement personnel in Iowa seized the shipment. Agents also learned through the wiretap that Razo had arranged for the distribution of other drugs across the country, the release said.

Razo faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years and up to life in federal prison and a fine of up to $10 million on the drug conspiracy charge. On the telephone counts, he faces up to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

The case was investigated by the DEA, with assistance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office; the Southeast Iowa Drug Task Force; the Wapello County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office; investigators from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; the Stamford, Conn., Police Department; the Augusta Police Department and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story reported that Mark Razo was imprisoned in Folsom. The prison is actually located in Jamestown. The information was incorrectly submitted to the Bangor Daily News.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/03/01/news/bangor/jury-finds-california-man-guilty-of-running-drug-ring-from-folsom-prison/ printed on July 30, 2014