Feds accuse pair of smuggling methamphetamine dissolved in buckets of paint at San Jose warehouse

Federal prosecutors this week charged two men with smuggling methamphetamine dissolved in buckets of paint and extracting the drugs at a San Jose warehouse to convert them into its crystal form. 

On Tuesday, KTVU cameras were first to capture the arrest of Mario Orozco on Alum Rock Avenue San Jose and observe DEA, Homeland Security and local law enforcement officers enter a home to take him into custody. His alleged accomplice, Teodoro Ayon-Ramos, was arrested at his home in Los Banos on the same day. 

DEA, Homeland Security, sheriff conduct operation in East San Jose

Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office and  Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux said the two used a warehouse-type structure located on Stockton Avenue to process the drugs. 

Both men made their first court appearances in federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday and are currently being held in custody.

Efforts to reach them for comment or determine who their attorneys are were not immediately successful. Their criminal complaint is under seal. 

Orozco is scheduled to appear next in court on Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore.  Ayon-Ramos’ next appearance for Aug. 17 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson.  Both court appearances are scheduled to address issues regarding detention.

According to the U.S. Attorney's news release, Orozco and Ayon-Ramos sold approximately four ounces of methamphetamine to a cooperating source working with law enforcement, which occurred in San Jose. 

The day before, Orozco agreed to sell the cooperating source approximately four ounces of methamphetamine for $3,500, prosecutors said.  In addition, Ayon-Ramos met a cooperating source in San Jose on June 18 and delivered the methamphetamine, according to prosecutors.

If convicted, each man faces a maximum sentence of 40 years and a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $5 million.