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California man pleads guilty for trafficking drugs through southern Oregon

Noel Lomas Murillo pleaded guilty in a Portland federal court on Tuesday for his role in a major drug trafficking ring that operated between Medford and northeastern Oregon.

Posted: Sep 28, 2021 3:34 PM
Updated: Sep 28, 2021 3:39 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — A California man pleaded guilty to federal charges on Tuesday for his role in a major drug trafficking ring that operated between southern and northeastern Oregon, according to the US Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon.

33-year-old Noel Lomas Murillo of Vacaville entered a guilty plea to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Prosecutors said that Murillo's operation worked to bring large quantities of meth in from California for sale in northeastern Oregon and southwestern Washington state.

Court documents say that in November of 2017, the Blue Mountain Enforcement Narcotics Team, Oregon State Police, and the FBI began investigating a drug trafficking organization led by Murillo's brother, 28-year-old Abel Lomas Murillo of Weston, Oregon.

The investigation found that Noel, the elder brother, brought drugs from Vacaville to Klamath Falls, where a courier would then deliver them to his brother. Abel also made multiple trips to Medford in order to pick up drugs for distribution in Morrow and Umatilla counties.

In January of 2018, an OSP trooper stopped one of their couriers in a vehicle traveling near Klamath Falls while en route to Umatilla County. A search of the vehicle found 11 packages, each containing more than 8 kilograms of meth.

As the investigation continued into May, Abel recruited a second courier to drive meth from Medford to Boardman. Investigators followed Abel as he traveled from Umatilla County to a storage locker in Medford and loaded a trailer that he pulled behind his truck. Abel paid the courier to drive the truck, while prosecutors say the trafficker followed behind to "minimize his risk."

Investigators stopped both Abel and the courier, finding and seizing 42 packages of meth, most of them secreted within the false bottom of a propane tank. Together, the packages contained about 17.6 kilos of meth.

Later the same day, investigators raided Abel's home, seizing 29 guns and body armor. A separate search of the man's Medford storage unit revealed another 10 pounds of meth and five guns.

Noel Murillo was indicted on two counts by a federal grand jury in Portland on December 19, 2019, for two drug trafficking charges. He pleaded guilty to one of those counts on Tuesday, and is set to be sentenced on January 5, 2022.

Abel pleaded guilty in September of 2019 and was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison. Two of the couriers also pleaded guilty, with one set to be sentenced next year and with a second already released on time served and three years' supervised release.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 391099

Reported Deaths: 5161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60298839
Washington41981395
Marion39886506
Clackamas32773378
Lane30113355
Jackson24880360
Deschutes23557185
Umatilla15126180
Linn14637179
Douglas13375291
Josephine10148244
Yamhill9762143
Klamath9053146
Polk8212100
Benton609738
Malheur592487
Coos5664106
Columbia430455
Jefferson420266
Lincoln362152
Union338755
Crook334056
Wasco316146
Clatsop261835
Baker219833
Tillamook216645
Hood River213737
Morrow197525
Curry191939
Harney119933
Grant108515
Lake105416
Wallowa75713
Sherman1913
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 5083462

Reported Deaths: 74473
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152713227166
San Diego4069274335
Riverside3876785358
San Bernardino3745435962
Orange3343985725
Sacramento1683542443
Kern1576621804
Fresno1567952254
Santa Clara1520891925
Alameda1251761504
San Joaquin1075591834
Ventura1040031190
Contra Costa1037721046
Stanislaus915481417
Tulare860871096
San Francisco56909669
San Mateo56320629
Monterey52488626
Solano47671357
Santa Barbara47293549
Merced45053667
Sonoma43168412
Placer42141470
Imperial38477773
Kings35206363
San Luis Obispo31476359
Madera26194311
Shasta26081451
Butte25455314
Santa Cruz22248224
Yolo21558257
Marin18465249
El Dorado18301166
Sutter14571186
Napa13420104
Yuba1076089
Tehama10275130
Humboldt10158119
Nevada10019105
Mendocino857197
Lassen796756
San Benito781578
Tuolumne773090
Lake7043110
Amador577366
Siskiyou474755
Glenn457436
Calaveras441588
Del Norte375542
Colusa325220
Inyo256646
Plumas19367
Mono18784
Mariposa160018
Trinity99717
Modoc7655
Unassigned3220
Sierra2180
Alpine1080
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