Three Bay Area men, including ‘aspiring rap musician,’ charged with running multi-state fentanyl ring from Santa Rosa


SAN FRANCISCO — Three Bay Area men have been arrested on federal charges alleging they ran a multi-state fentanyl trafficking ring from Santa Rosa that shipped thousands of prescription pills around the United States.

Matthew Cox, Marcus Johnson, and Ricardo Molinero-Alcaraz were all arrested this month in connection with a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Tennessee. The charges allege that for two years, the three conspired to ship fentanyl-laced Oxycodone to at least 14 states, from New York to Wisconsin to Georgia.

During the investigation, authorities seized more than 5,000 fentanyl-laced pills, 12 pounds of methamphetamine, 16 pounds of marijuana, an AK-style pistol, and $500,000 in one drug deal alone, including $75,000 found in Cox’s car, according to prosecutors. Johnson was also found with a fake DEA agent’s badge, authorities allege.

In court records, prosecutors describe Cox as an “aspiring rap musician” who goes by Rosso. They cited his lyrics as evidence of criminal wrongdoing, in a failed attempt to keep him in custody while the charges are pending. Both Cox and Johnson have been freed on unsecured $100,000 and $10,000 bonds, respectively, while Molinero-Alcaraz was ordered detained.

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