Omaha DEA announces successful month in drug enforcement
OMAHA – Matthew R. Barden, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the DEA Omaha Division today announced a hugely successful month within the Omaha Division in the constant battle against drug trafficking. The past month has consisted of prison sentences of almost two decades in federal prison for methamphetamine traffickers, and charges with potential prison time of two decades or more for heroin traffickers.
“These past few weeks have been extremely successful for DEA and our state and local law enforcement partners,” SAC Barden said. “The success of these investigations is readily apparent. Two decades in prison is a significant amount of time of someone’s life. The sentences handed down, and the potential sentences for these newest charges, should reflect just how dangerous these drug traffickers are. I am pleased to say these individuals won’t be able to harm our communities and neighborhoods for a long time.”
SAC Barden proudly announced two prolific meth traffickers, Alvin Felicianosoto, 34, and Orlando Dones-Vargas, 32, both of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, were sentenced to 210 months (Felicianosoto) and 235 months (Dones-Vargas) in prison following their convictions on the charges of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. Both men were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier with the United States District Court, District of South Dakota. Felicianosoto and Dones-Vargas were involved in a multi-state meth conspiracy that saw them distribute, or responsible for the distribution, of over 50 pounds of methamphetamine to South Dakota. During a search warrant at Felicianosoto’s home in Sioux Falls, investigators found approximately four pounds of meth and four loaded firearms hidden underneath a bed in what appeared to be a child’s bedroom.
“Drug trafficking and violence seem to go hand in hand,” Agent in Charge Barden said. “However, when you hide drugs and loaded firearms in rooms that are clearly accessible to children, you show the world just how little you care for anyone other than yourself.”
On the heels of Felicianosoto’s and Dones-Vargas’ sentencings, Agent in Charge Barden announced the initial court appearances for three men accused of heroin distribution. Maurice Cathey, 37, of Chicago, Illinois, and Jacob Lottman, 25, and Devlin Tommeraasen, 23, both of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, appeared in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica Duffy with the United States District Court, District of South Dakota, to face initial charges related to heroin distribution. Cathey and Lottman were indicted by a federal grand jury on the charge of conspiracy to distribute heroin resulting in death and serious bodily injury, while Tommeraasen was indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to distribute heroin. If convicted on those charges, Cathey and Lottman face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 20 years in prison to a maximum of life in prison, while Tommeraasen faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison.
“The opioid epidemic is sweeping the country, and these charges represent that fact,” Agent in Charge Barden said. “Where years ago one might never expect to see charges related to heroin trafficking in Sioux Falls, this is a reality we now have to face. Drug traffickers prey on our communities and destroy our neighborhoods. Along with our state and local law enforcement partners, the women and men of DEA will never give up on our communities and will continue to do everything within our authority to keep our communities safe.”
The Opioid Epidemic that has been sweeping the country has contributed to a surge in drug overdose deaths, where the sad reality is that citizens within the United States are more likely to die of a drug overdose than from a fatal car accident. Agent in Charge Barden urges people to recognize the dangers associated with drug use and abuse, and do what they can to educate themselves and others on how to avoid this dangerous epidemic.
Both cases were prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Dakota.
To find out more information regarding drugs of abuse visit: www.dea.gov