A 26-year-old Kent man pleaded guilty to federal drug charges and faces a minimum of 10 years in prison.
Jorge Mondragon faces a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison due to the amount of heroin and methamphetamine he trafficked as part of a violent international drug trafficking organization that distributed heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine in the Puget Sound region, according to a July 22 U.S. Department of Justice news release.
Mondragon entered his plea last week in U.S. District Court in Seattle.
Mondragon also illegally possessed firearms. Mondragon is prohibited from possessing firearms due to his two 2018 felony convictions in King County Superior Court for unlawfully possessing firearms.
According to the plea agreement, Mondragon was one of the conspirators involved in threatened violence over drug debts. During the investigation, Mondragon also threatened to leave one target needing a wheelchair and law enforcement had to intervene.
On July 16, 2020, in Kent, Mondragon jumped from an embankment and ran from police. He attempted to hide a stolen firearm that he had in his possession. When investigators served a search warrant at Mondragon’s residence, they found another firearm and ammunition. At Mondragon’s storage locker they located additional ammunition.
Prosecutors have agreed to recommend no more than 11 years in prison for Mondragon when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour on Oct. 25. However, Coughenour is not bound by the recommendation, and can sentence Mondragon up to the maximum of life in prison, according to the news release.
Law enforcement has linked the drug trafficking organization to the CJNG cartel in Mexico. In all, this drug ring was responsible for bringing more than 120 pounds of meth into the region as well as heroin, fentanyl pills and cocaine, according to the news release.
Mondragon was considered one of the trusted lieutenants of Luis Arturo Magana-Ramirez, 34, of Fife, considered the leader of the drug trafficking ring. Magana-Ramirez also pleaded guilty last week to federal drug charges and faces a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison and up to life in prison when he is sentenced by Coughenour on Nov. 1.
Magana-Ramirez also pursued those who owed drug debts to the organization. At various times on the wiretap, federal law enforcement heard Magana-Ramirez threatening to beat or murder those who owed the organization money. In at least one instance, law enforcement moved in to protect a target of Magana-Ramirez’ threats of violence.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Tacoma Resident Office in partnership with Tahoma Narcotics Enforcement Team, Kent Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, SeaTac Police Department, Thurston County Narcotics Team, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).