COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — One of eleven defendants and the ringleader in a federal drug distribution case, believed to be the “largest single fentanyl seizure in the Southern District of Ohio,” pleaded guilty in a courtroom Friday, according to U.S. District Attorney Kenneth Parker.
Isabel Odir Castellanos, from Los Angeles, was first arrested in June 2022 alongside ten people from Ohio and West Virginia for federal drug trafficking conspiracy charges.
Castellanos — a transportation business owner and semi-truck driver — would travel cross-country to bring narcotics in bulk from California to central Ohio via big rig, according to court documents cited in a news release. He would deliver drugs that included fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, meth, and marijuana to a fellow defendant’s Columbus residence and stash house.
From there, mid-level distributors would disperse the narcotics across parts of Ohio — including Columbus, Youngstown, and Springfield — as well as West Virginia. Castellanos would collect the money that came from sales before he drove back to California.
Ten other people were arrested last June and face federal charges in connection with the case, which remain pending, according to the news release. Nine have pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking conspiracy.
The investigation yielded the seizure of more than 100 pounds of drugs — including 115,000 fentanyl-laced pills — and half a million in cash, seven guns, and four vehicles. Distribution or possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl could result in between 10 years and life in prison.