An illegal alien mother of nine who ran a drug-smuggling ring and is serving more than 17 years in federal prison for the crime passed the operation down to her son, who remains at large, police said.
Authorities say Celia Ruiz-Ochoa illegally crossed the U.S. border from Mexico at the age of 18 with her two-year-old son, Sergio Ruiz, and allegedly sold drugs out of her Ohio home to keep the family afloat.
Federal authorities say Ruiz-Ochoa often trafficked the drugs into the U.S. by air and by land. She was so successful that she rose to the top of an international drug trafficking ring which contributed to the opioid crisis in Ohio, WCPO reported Thursday.
Ruiz-Ochoa allegedly passed down the operation to Sergio Ruiz in 2016. Authorities say Sergio is still on the lam while his mother sits behind bars at a federal prison in Alabama, assistant DEA special agent Mauricio Jimenez told the station.
Documents obtained by WCPO show that the drug kingpin family handled an estimated $1 million in drugs a week.
“It’s a business model that lasted lifetimes,” Jimenez said. “We’re never going to get around it.”
Couriers who trafficked the drugs for the family told agents with the DEA they ingested heroin and fentanyl, sometimes in lethal doses, to give to the Ruiz family or buyers in the Dayton, Ohio, area.
Ruiz-Ochoa is eligible for release in 2023, although it is unclear whether U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have placed a detainer on her that would deport her back to Mexico upon her release from prison.
Jimenez said Sergio is considered a fugitive, and U.S. and Mexican authorities are working together to capture him. If he is caught and convicted, he could spend decades behind bars.
Illegal aliens like Ruiz-Ochoa and Sergio are more likely to be imprisoned for crimes against American citizens than those in the U.S. legally, according to a recent study.
A study from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) from February found that illegal aliens are 5.5 times more likely to be incarcerated in state prison for crimes against Americans than American citizens and legal U.S. residents.
Breitbart News reported that there are approximately 40,000 criminal illegal aliens and legal immigrants imprisoned throughout the U.S., comprising 21 percent of all federal prison inmates.