PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A California man has been sentenced to prison for his role in trafficking meth in Oregon and Washington.
34-year-old Noel Lomas Murillo was sentenced to 60 months in prison with three years’ supervised release.
In November 2017, the Blue Mountain Enforcement Narcotics Team, Oregon State Police and the FBI started investigating a drug trafficking operation led by Murillo’s brother, 28-year-old Abel Lomas Murillo, according to court documents.
Investigators found as early as July 2017, Noel Murillo transported drugs from Vacaville, California to Klamath Falls, Oregon. A courier would then deliver the drugs to his brother.
Abel Murillo also delivered drugs from Medford, Oregon to Morrow and Umatilla counties.
In January 2018, an OSP trooper stopped one of Abel Murillo’s couriers, 33-year-old Luis Alberto Navarro, who was driving near Klamath Falls on his way to Umatilla County. After searching the vehicle, the trooper found 11 packages containing upwards of eight kilograms of meth.
Then in May 2018, investigators surveilled Abel Murillo as he loaded a trailer at a Medford storage locker. Murillo hired 28-year-old Noel Ponce Villegas, to drive his truck and the trailer while he followed him to minimize his risk being caught, authorities said.
While driving on I-84 near mile post 102, Abel Murillo and Villegas were stopped by investigators.
Authorities seized 42 packages of meth, 36 of which were hidden in a false bottom of a propane tank. The packages had about 17.6 kilograms of meth. Later that day, authorities searched Abel Murillo’s home where they seized 29 guns and body armor.
Police also seized 10 pounds of meth and five guns from the storage locker.
In December 2019, a federal grand jury in Portland charged Noel Murillo with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and distribute methamphetamine along with possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
Noel Murillo pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge on September 28, 2021.
Meanwhile, Abel Navarro was sentenced to 235 months in prison with five years’ supervised release after pleading guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine
Authorities noted Navarro pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine and will be sentenced May 23, 2022.
Villegas also pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to time served and three years’ supervised release.