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After a several month-long investigation, the Humboldt County Drug Task Force (HCDTF) has identified Rodrigo Moreno Rios (aka “Shorty”) as one of the primary leaders in a Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) in the Eel River Valley.  Rios is believed to employ multiple individuals who assist in the delivery of heroin to Humboldt County communities.

On September 13, 2018, at approximately 9:45 a.m., HCDTF Special Agents, with the assistance of the California Highway Patrol, Fortuna Police Department, Eureka Police Department, and Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, served six search warrants at the following residences:

3100 block of Smith Lane, Fortuna  

3200 block of Smith Lane, Fortuna  

1900 block of South Second Avenue, Fortuna  

2600 block of Boone Street, Fortuna  

1500 block of Ronald Avenue, Fortuna

Private road, Niles Lane, Loleta  

These search warrants were related to properties frequented or occupied by Rios and members of the DTO.  In addition to the search warrants, Ramey Warrants were obtained on the following individuals: Rodrigo Moreno Rios (age 40), Ubaldo Mendez-Carino (age 45), Arturo Ruiz-Anguiano (age 19), and Cesar Cabrera-Barragan (age 37).

As a result of the investigation, agents seized approximately ¾ of a pound of suspected heroin and over $40,000 in U.S. currency.  This currency is believed to be the proceeds of illegal narcotics sales and will be held pending asset forfeiture proceedings.

During the serving of the search warrants, Mendez-Carino, Ruiz-Anguiano, and Cabrera-Barragan were contacted and arrested on their outstanding Ramey Warrants.  The charges on these warrants include conspiracy to transport and possess controlled substances for sales. These subjects were subsequently transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where they were booked on their outstanding warrants.  Agents were unable to locate Rios and he remains a fugitive at large.

Anyone with information related to this investigation, or know the current whereabouts of Rodrigo Moreno Rios, please call the Humboldt County Drug Task Force at 707-444-8095 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 707-268-2539.

Sergeant Jesse Taylor

Emerald contributor since March 2012


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