SAN FRANCISCO — Three Bay Area men have been arrested on federal charges alleging they ran a multistate fentanyl trafficking ring from Santa Rosa that shipped thousands of prescription pills across the United States.
Matthew Cox, Marcus Johnson and Ricardo Molinero-Alcaraz were arrested this month in connection with a criminal complaint filed by the US Attorney’s office in Tennessee. The charges allege that over two years, the three conspired to ship oxycodone laced with fentanyl to at least 14 states, from New York to Wisconsin to Georgia.
During the investigation, authorities seized more than 5,000 fentanyl-laced pills, 12 pounds of methamphetamine, 16 pounds of marijuana, an AK-style pistol and $500,000 from one drug deal alone, including $75,000 found in Cox’s car, according to prosecutors. Johnson was also found with a fake DEA agent badge, authorities allege.
In court records, prosecutors describe Cox as an “wannabe rapper” who goes by the name Rosso. They cited his letters as evidence of criminal wrongdoing, in a failed attempt to keep him in custody while charges are pending. Both Cox and Johnson have been released on unsecured bonds of $100,000 and $10,000, respectively, while Molinero-Alcaraz was ordered detained.
In a song titled “Thinkin’ to Myself,” Cox references “making moves” in Tennessee, having connections in Columbia, which agents interpreted as Columbia, Tennessee, and references “blues,” a slang term for pills laced with fentanyl. He also adds: “This is really my life, I’m not just saying that to sound cool,” prosecutors said in court records.
The case has been transferred to Tennessee, where prosecution will continue, court records show.
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Three Santa Rosa Men, Including an ‘Aspiring Rap Musician,’ Charged With Running Multistate Fentanyl Ring