Portland drug trafficker with ties to Sinaloa Cartel gets 26 years for kidnapping and killing man who owed $90,000

By Gangsters Inc. Editors

A drug trafficker operating in Portland, Oregon, was sentenced on Wednesday for his role in the 2019 kidnapping and murder of a Washington State man. 48-year-old Marcos Alonso Castillo-Bernal received a prison sentence of 26 years.

In 2018, the Portland Police Bureau began investigating a Mexican drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing large quantities of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and counterfeit OxyContin in the Portland area.

The group allegedly had ties to the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico and was an intermediate source of supply to other organizations in Portland, on the Oregon coast, and in the Olympia, Washington area. In January 2019, Castillo-Bernal allegedly assumed control of the organization and, along with various underlings, was directly responsible for distributing large quantities of the illegal drugs in and around Portland.

Kidnapping and murder

In the period from April 9, 2019, until April 13, 2019, Castillo-Bernal and others kidnapped 27-year-old Ricardo Corral-Moreno in Olympia, Washington, held him hostage first at an apartment in Woodburn and then at the ranch in Molalla, Oregon. There they beat him to death and disposed of his body in a rural area near Molalla. Corral-Moreno was targeted because of money - $90,000 - he owed to Castillo-Bernal and others. 

Oregon Live reported: “According to the government’s witnesses and sources, the Sinaloa cartel had sent two “muscle” people and two “cholos,” or Mexican gang members, to Oregon from California to deal with Corral-Moreno and his debt.”

Investigators identified ligature marks on Corral-Moreno’s wrists consistent with his having been tied up and determined he died of blunt force injuries to the back of his head. Castillo-Bernal’s DNA was also found on Corral-Moreno’s left cheek and ankle.

On January 6, 2022, a superseding indictment was unsealed charging Castillo-Bernal with various drug trafficking crimes and for his role in Corral-Moreno’s kidnapping and murder. He made his initial appearance in federal court the same day.

On January 18, 2023, Castillo-Bernal pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and distribute controlled substances, conspiring to commit kidnapping resulting in death, and illegally reentering the U.S.

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