OMAHA, Neb. – Between March 2015 and September 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Omaha Division office in cooperation with the Douglas and Sarpy County Sheriff’s Offices, Omaha Police Department and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nebraska, conducted a complex, multi-jurisdictional investigation into a methamphetamine distribution organization with direct links to Sinaloa, Mexico; Phoenix, Arizona; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Sioux City, Iowa; Little Rock, Arkansas and Wichita, Kansas. Operation Boyztown, ended with the arrest and conviction of Jorge Navarrete who received a life sentence for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and money laundering in 2019.
Navarette became the first person since 2006 to receive a life sentence in Nebraska for a federal drug crime prosecuted by the District of Nebraska, U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Operation Boyztown involved one wiretap and could not have been accomplished without the cooperation of multiple law enforcement agencies. As a result of the investigation, agents seized approximately eight pounds of methamphetamine, three firearms, cocaine, drug ledgers, financial receipts and more than $10,000.
Navarette, a Mexican national illegally residing in Arizona, brokered methamphetamine transactions between Mexico-based cartel operatives and local drug traffickers in Omaha, Iowa and Minnesota. Co-defendants in the case testified that Navarette employed drivers who made at least six trips from Arizona to Omaha, transporting no less than eight to 12 pounds of methamphetamine.
At his sentencing hearing, Navarette was found responsible for distributing at least 48 pounds of methamphetamine.
In addition to the life sentence for distribution of methamphetamine, Navarrete was found guilty of money laundering and two counts of conspiracy to launder money. The Honorable Laurie Smith Camp, then chief Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, imposed concurrent sentences of 20 years of imprisonment for the money-laundering offenses.
“Cases such as this underscore the urgent need to control our international border with Mexico and the need to remove criminal aliens from the United States,” Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Richard Salter Jr., said. “Out of the 21 defendants in this investigation, 16 were Mexican nationals and/or U.S. citizens born in Mexico. All 21 defendants were repeat felony-offenders and repeat drug offenders.
Twenty-five years ago, if you wanted to buy wholesale quantities of drugs at wholesale prices, you had to go to states along the Mexico border to get it. Today, our country is so infiltrated with Mexican cartel operatives, that you can buy pretty much any drug in any state in the country at fairly cheap prices.”
Navarrete began serving his time in federal prison on June 15, 2018, and exhausted his appeals on April 8, 2020.