PORTLAND, Ore. — An eastern Oregon man has been sentenced to almost 20 years in prison for conspiring with his brother to smuggle drugs between California, Oregon and Washington, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon.
26-year-old Abel Lomas Murillo of Weston, a small town in Umatilla County, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine in April.
According to court documents, Murillo's brother and co-defendant Noel Murillo would transport drugs from his home in Vacaville, California to Klamath Falls, where a courier would bring the drugs to Abel in Umatilla County.
"Abel Murillo and his co-conspirators also made multiple trips to Medford, Oregon to pick up drugs and transport them back to Morrow and Umatilla Counties for distribution in Northeast Oregon and Southeast Washington," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
In January of 2018, a trooper with Oregon State Police stopped one of the couriers as he was traveling from Klamath Falls to Umatilla County. A search of the car found more than 17 pounds of meth.
In early May of 2018, law enforcement tracked another courier as he delivered meth from Medford to Boardman.
"Investigators surveilled Murillo as he traveled from Umatilla County to a storage locker in Medford and loaded a trailer being pulled by his truck," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Murillo reportedly paid the courier to drive his truck and trailer while he followed behind "to minimize his own risk." In the early morning hours of May 6, investigators from local, state, and federal agencies stopped Murillo and the courier as they drove along I-84.
Investigators seized about 39 pounds of methamphetamine, most of which was stored in the false bottom of a propane tank. Later the same day, investigators executed a search warrant at Murillo’s residence, seizing 29 firearms and body armor. Another 10 pounds of meth and five guns were discovered in a Medford storage locker Murillo had visited earlier in the weekend.
Murillo faces 235 months in federal prison and five years on probation. He will also have to pay a fine of $20,000.