By chris conrad
“Speedy” will join his boss, “The Snow Queen,” in federal prison, as another player in a major drug trafficking organization that operated in Jackson County was sentenced Tuesday.
Estaban Martinez-Manjares, aka “Speedy,” pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Medford to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and meth.
Martinez-Manjares, 27, was sentenced to 71/2 years in prison for his role in the organization that investigators said moved large amounts of narcotics from Salem and Mexico into the Rogue Valley.
Martinez-Manjares made deliveries, received payments and stored drugs inside storage units.
The leader of the organization, Adelma Niebla Cook, 34, aka “The Snow Queen,” was sentenced earlier this year to more than 13 years in federal prison.
Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement, or MADGE, officers began investigating the group in the fall of 2009, soon after the end of another large drug sweep called “Operation Goat Rope” that used informants and federal wiretaps to break up a large heroin-trafficking organization centered in Medford between 2007 and 2009.
Court documents show that Martinez-Manjares worked with Cook and four others to make arrangements for cocaine and meth to be delivered and sold in the Rogue Valley.
Martinez-Manjares kept large supplies of drugs in a local storage unit. When a deal was made, Martinez-Manjares would retrieve the drugs from the storage unit and take them to a home on Table Rock Road, where the deal took place.
Martinez-Manjares helped Cook to obtain meth and cocaine from the Salem area. He would often pick her up at the Pilot Station in Central Point after Cook returned from a drug run.
At one point, the pair became aware that drug cops were watching them. Court documents said Martinez-Manjares spotted a surveillance agent during one trip to Salem, but for unknown reasons continued north to finish picking up a load of drugs.
The pair created a coded language that police deciphered.
When Martinez-Manjares need to retrieve drugs from the storage unit, Cook would call or text him to pick up “bottles of white wine” on the way home.
Agents served a federal search warrant for the storage unit on Oak Grove Road in Medford and seized a locked safe containing a large quantity of cocaine and meth, along with laser scales and drug paraphernalia. After that seizure, Cook arranged to pay to have a safe stored at a relative’s apartment. A later search under another warrant again found the safe contained large quantities of meth and cocaine.
The investigation by federal authorities and MADGE involved multiple court-authorized wiretaps, surveillance and controlled purchases, and the execution of a number of search warrants, officials said.
This story originally appeared in Medford Mail Tribune.