Trucker faces 10 years to life after admitting to drug trafficking

Isabel Odir Castellanos, 51, a trucker from Los Angeles, California, faces 10 years to life in prison after admitting to drug trafficking on Friday, February 3, 2023, in federal court, in Ohio. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

According to the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Ohio press release from Feb. 3, 2023, Castellanos was the national narcotics distribution operation leader. He was arrested together with 10 of his associates in June 2022 for federal drug trafficking conspiracy charges. It was the largest seizure of fentanyl in the Southern District of Ohio. 

The law enforcement seized 115,000 fentanyl-laced pills (76 kilograms), 9 kg of methamphetamine, 9 kg of cocaine, 9 kilograms of marijuana, distributable amounts of heroin and crack cocaine, as well as $478,000 in cash, 7 guns, a semi-truck a Porsche Panamera a BMW X5 and a GMC Terrain. The total value of seized fentanyl and fentanyl pills is about $4.5 million.

According to the law, anybody who distributes or possesses planning to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl is committing a federal crime punishable by 10 years up to life in prison.

Castellanos was the business owner and the driver of his transportation company. He drove his semi-truck all over the USA. That truck transported fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana to the home of the co-defendant, Susana Maria Orellana, 39, in Columbus, Ohio. That house was a stash house. From there, the drugs were transferred to mid-level drug distributors who sold the drugs in Central Ohio, Youngstown, Ohio, Springfield, Ohio, and West Virginia.

One of the mid-distributors, Darrell Enrico Maurice Peterman Sr. 60, from Youngstown, Ohio was arrested after a drug delivery on June 2022. His Nissan Maxima was pulled over by a State Trooper for a traffic violation. K-9 detected the drug during a traffic stop, after which Troopers searched his vehicle and found 1,146 grams of fentanyl and 1,176 grams of cocaine. He was immediately arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Castellanos collected the drug proceeds and money before travelling back to California.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker stated that the other nine defendants are:

Martell D. Owens, 38, Springfield, Ohio

Dwayne Stanley Childs, 33, Columbus, Ohio

Justin M. Berrien, 42, Springfield, Ohio

Kelvin R. Battle, 47, Springfield, Ohio

Jermaine Anthony Peterson, 37, Springfield, Ohio

Linda Laura Marie Houle, 47, Springfield, Ohio

Carl Dewayne Jenkins, 53, Wadestown, West Virginia

James Ian Sheets, 49, Fairview, West Virginia

In addition to Castellanos, who pleaded guilty, 9 of 10 defendants pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking conspiracy crimes.

Efforts of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF), the Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and the Springfield Police Department, with this seizure, saved many lives and resulted in the trucker facing 10 years to life after admitting to drug trafficking.