Current inmate sentenced for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit money laundering


Date: January 31, 2023


United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that U.S. District Judge Lawrence L. Piersol has sentenced a current inmate from a Nebraska prison convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering. The sentencing took place on January 20, 2023.

Ray Noel Camacho, Sr., a/k/a "Pato," was sentenced to 31 years in federal prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $200. Camacho is already serving a 31 to 64-year prison sentence for terroristic threats and use of a firearm to commit a felony. His federal sentence will be served consecutively to his state sentence.

Camacho was indicted by a federal grand jury in March of 2021. He was found guilty on all charges as a result of a federal jury trial in November of 2022.

The conviction stemmed from incidents when Camacho, who was the leader of a large drug trafficking organization based in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota area, was responsible for the distribution of at least 120 pounds of methamphetamine. This consisted of approximately 70 lbs. of methamphetamine seized in South Dakota alone. In May of 2019, one traffic stop led to a search and seizure of 50 pounds of methamphetamine, which was stored within a spare tire and hidden compartments within the vehicle.

Camacho arranged and strategically orchestrated multipound deliveries of methamphetamine from Mexico, and payment for said deliveries, through three-way phone calls made from the South Dakota State Penitentiary. Said calls were recorded by the prison and used as key evidence in his trial. Camacho recruited numerous co-conspirators to aid him in his organization, which included current and former inmates and individuals known to them from the outside community. Camacho is the last of 22 defendants involved in this drug trafficking organization to be found guilty.

This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigation, and Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Hodges and Paige Petersen prosecuted the case.

Camacho was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.