Inland Empire Man Arrested For International Methamphetamine Trafficking Operation

            The U.S. Attorney’s office has accused Jorge Gomez Torres, 66, of playing a key role in an international drug-trafficking organization that shipped more than 1,000 pounds of methamphetamine around the world. The indictment charges Torres with three counts – one count of drug trafficking and two counts of money laundering. Torres pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

Torres, a.k.a. “the Filipino,” allegedly coordinated drug shipments to the Philippines, and from there methamphetamine was illegally imported into the United States. On Christmas Day in 2013, law enforcement seized approximately 84 kilograms (185 pounds) of methamphetamine from a rooster ranch Torres owned in the Philippines.

            The sellers concealed the contraband to ship the methamphetamine around the world. The sellers used shell companies to get shipping documents to send drugs to countries such as the Philippines to Australia. The sellers hid the methamphetamine in machinery, including an industrial asphalt roller that was recovered in Manzanillo, Mexico and computer equipment that was seized in Memphis, Tennessee.

            The indictment charges 17 defendants, most of whom are fugitives believed to be in Mexico.

Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable in court.

            The charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine carries a statutory maximum sentence of life and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal prison. The money laundering offenses each carry a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison.

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