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Woman gets time served for 50 pounds of meth seized near Ashland

Woman faces her fourth deportation

A California woman was sentenced to the more than two years of time that she served in the Jackson County Jail following a traffic stop near Ashland in which Oregon State Police troopers found more than 50 pounds of methamphetamine in hidden inside secret compartments of an SUV.

Reynalda Larios-Cortez, 59, of Modesto, California, was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Medford to time served surrounding a June 19, 2019, traffic stop between Ashland and Talent in which OSP troopers with the aid of a drug-sniffing K-9 found 50.8 pounds of crystal meth and 4.8 pounds of black tar heroin hidden inside a 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SUV registered to Larios-Cortez.

The K-9 reportedly pointed police to hidden compartments installed throughout the vehicle that included “a false floor built into the entire SUV,” according to an affidavit filed in an earlier Jackson County Circuit Court Case that has since been dropped. At least one of the hidden compartments used foam padding typically used for home carpeting to conceal a locked compartment beneath the front seat.

Larios-Cortez, whose name was spelled in earlier news reports and court filings as Larios-Cortes, was also sentenced to three years post-prison supervision; however, she will almost certainly be deported following a separate conviction on a separate illegal reentry charge.

According to an email from Kevin Sonoff, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon, deportation is not ordered by a judge as part of a federal criminal case, rather, it is an administrative process initiated and carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“ICE makes the final determination on whether a defendant is deported after they complete their federal prison sentence,” Sonoff wrote. “Our office is not involved in that process.”

In May, Larios-Cortez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute, and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, along with a federal charge of illegal reentry, admitting that she entered the country after having previously been deported from the United States Jan. 19, 2000, Feb. 26, 2014, and Nov. 16, 2016.

After Larios-Cortez’s guilty plea in May, the government seized the SUV.

The Mitsubishi’s driver, Juan Enrique Lemus Del Cid, 31, of Tacoma, Washington, also faces federal methamphetamine possession and conspiracy charges. Court records show that he is scheduled to change his plea Aug. 16 in U.S. District Court in Medford.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.