HAMMOND – Rafael Roman Ramirez, 37 years old, of Lafayette, Indiana, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Philip P. Simon after pleading guilty to being an Illegal Alien in Possession of a Firearm and Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch.

U.S. Attorney Kirsch said, “The use and abuse of dangerous, highly addictive drugs like heroin have grave consequences on the community where they are present. We are working aggressively with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute cases involving opioids. We are focusing efforts on dismantling drug distribution networks, including those connected to Mexican cartels, that supply illegal drugs in this District.”

According to documents in the case, Ramirez was a leader and organizer of a drug trafficking organization with Mexican cartel ties who was tasked with coordinating the delivery of heroin and drug proceeds throughout the country. Ramirez was responsible for between 30 and 90 kilograms of heroin that the drug trafficking organization brought into the country from Mexico and distributed nationwide.

This case was investigated by the DEA and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Chang.