FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a seven-count indictment today against Omar Manuel Ramirez, 34, of Fresno, charging him with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, manufacture of marijuana, money laundering conspiracy, and money laundering, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, Ramirez grew marijuana in Fresno County and shipped it to states around the country, including Illinois, Virginia, and North Carolina. Ramirez’s customers deposited their payments for the marijuana into a bank account in Ramirez’s name. Typically within a day, Ramirez withdrew the deposits in Fresno. Over the course of two and a half years, Ramirez and co-conspirators used this technique to launder more than $800,000 in proceeds from selling marijuana.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ross Pearson is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Ramirez faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison, and a $5 million fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Eastern District of California