17 people charged with drug trafficking, money laundering in St. George

Posted at 11:10 AM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 13:12:14-05

ST. GEORGE, Utah — Seventeen people were charged this week related to drug trafficking and money laundering in southern Utah, according to authorities.

The charges allege that Angel Rubio-Quintana and others worked with drug traffickers in Mexico to distribute fentanyl, methamphetamine, and marijuana in Washington County.

The recently unsealed 24 count indictment issued by a grand jury charges 17 people for their alleged roles in a conspiracy.

The charges come after an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation conducted by the Washington County Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division (IRS), and the United States Marshals Service.

According to documents, officers seized more than three kilograms of methamphetamine and thousands of fentanyl pills. During the course of their investigation, law enforcement learned that Angel Rubio-Quintana, along with co-conspirators, allegedly ordered narcotics from individuals in Mexico, distributed the narcotics in the local community, and sent drug proceeds from Utah to Mexico.

“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to federally prosecuting drug traffickers who fuel addiction and crime in Southern Utah,” said United States Attorney Andrea T. Martinez. “This prosecution highlights law enforcement’s tireless efforts to dismantle drug-trafficking organizations from suppliers in Mexico to drug dealers in St. George. We will continue to vigorously prosecute those who traffic narcotics in our communities.”

The indictment charges 17 people with 24 federal counts, including conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, methamphetamine, and marijuana; conspiracy to launder money; distribution of fentanyl and methamphetamine; possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine with intent to distribute; and unlawful reentry of a previously removed alien.

Those charged are listed as follows:

  • Angel Rubio-Quintana, 41, of St. George
  • Ramon Higuera-Cota, 49, of Sinaloa, Mexico
  • Presciliano Galax-Felix, aka “Chito,” 54, of Sinaloa, Mexico
  • Jaime Rivera-Jauregui, aka “Charras,” 35, of St. George
  • Carlos Rubio-Acosta, 19, of St. George
  • Lauro Ignacio-Morales, aka “Junior,” 20, of St. George
  • Llonatan Gutierrez-Ruiz, aka “Barbas,” 59, of St. George
  • Alfreida Simpson, 38, of St. George
  • Tanya Adame, 19, of St. George
  • Raul Valdez-Chavez, 62, of Riverside County, California
  • Juana Marin-Angel, 34, of West Jordan
  • Daniel Tena-Villasenor, 28, of Jerome
  • Tracy Eyman, 52, of Diamond Valley
  • Juan Carlos Orozco, 40, of St. George
  • Paul Ciriaco, 33. of St. George
  • Oliver Mendez-Rojas, aka “Willy,” 21, of St. George
  • Hardet Alan Valdez, aka “Moshi,” 20, of St. George, Utah

All of those charged are innocent until proven guilty.