Thursday, June 28, 2012

Leader of Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to Federal Prison

Cocaine and Methamphetamine Funneled into the Rogue Valley

MEDFORD, OR—Adelma Niebla Cook, 34, of Medford, Oregon, was sentenced Monday to federal prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine. Senior U.S. District Judge Owen M. Panner sentenced Cook to 160 months in prison for her leadership role in a drug trafficking organization and ordered the forfeiture of her Medford residence, an Infiniti G35 vehicle, and over $10,000 cash.

According to sentencing documents, the drug investigation by federal and local law enforcement involved multiple court-authorized wire and electronic interceptions (wiretaps), surveillance, and controlled purchases; and the execution of a number of search warrants. The interception of Cook’s communications revealed her leadership role in the organization wherein she made arrangements for drugs to be delivered to the Rogue Valley, made trips to pick up drugs from her suppliers, and utilized different phones to conduct different aspects of her drug trafficking activities. Cook pled guilty, admitting that she conspired with others to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine including more than five kilograms of cocaine from January 2010 up until July 28, 2011, the date of her arrest.

The sentencing documents also disclose that during the course of the conspiracy, Cook directed the activities of others and arranged for the delivery of large quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine originating from Mexico. Defendant made frequent trips to both Los Angeles, California, and Salem, Oregon, to pick up supplies of drugs for distribution. She often had others drive her to Salem and would return to the Medford area by bus with the drugs. She also helped coordinate meetings with her drug suppliers and others. For a brief period, Cook utilized a storage unit in Medford to keep the methamphetamine and cocaine. She then had her boyfriend retrieve the drugs and she would then sell them from her residence.

During the investigation, agents obtained a federal search warrant for the storage unit with court-authorized delayed notification and seized a locked safe containing a large quantity of cocaine and methamphetamine, along with laser scales and drug paraphernalia. After the drug seizure from the storage unit, defendant sought another location to conceal her drug supply while continuing to distribute the drugs locally. She arranged to pay to have her safe stored at a relative’s apartment. Later, agents executed a search warrant at the apartment and discovered the safe containing large quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine.

In October 2010, during the conspiracy, Cook was charged with possession of cocaine by state authorities stemming from an unrelated incident from the federal investigation. As part of the state sentence, she entered a state drug diversion program. However, she continued to engage in her drug trafficking activities while participating in the diversion program, distributing cocaine and methamphetamine between drug rehabilitation sessions and continuing to direct those she was dealing with to use certain code words in the distribution process.

This was a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Medford Police Department, and Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement (MADGE). The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Byron Chatfield.

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