CA man pleads guilty to role in Jones Co. drug conspiracy

CA man pleads guilty to role in Jones Co. drug conspiracy
Vincente Manuel Ruiz, 37, of Modesto, California, was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. (Photo source: WDAM archive)

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A California man is facing decades in prison and millions in fines after pleading guilty to his role in a conspiracy to traffic heroin in Jones County.

Juan Pablo Zamora Gomez, of Modesto, CA, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.

U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst said the investigation into Zamora Gomez, 32, started in 2017 after a DEA raid in Soso turned up more than two pounds of heroin.

Hurst said the drugs were found on property belonging to Jermaine Newell, 32. Newell, of Gautier, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.

Further investigation revealed Newell received the drugs from Zamora Gomez and another suspect, Vincente Manuel Ruiz.

Hurst said DEA agents were able to record phone conversations in which Zamora Gomez was heard discussing the heroin and set up a meeting to "further the conspiracy."

Zamora Gomez is scheduled to be sentenced on September 18. He faces up 40 years in prison and $5 million in fines.

Newell was sentenced to five years in prison on May 10. Ruiz will be sentenced for his role in the conspiracy on July 17.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and the Ellisville Police Department.

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