Juneau man facing federal drug charges

Cocaine, marijuana and cash reportedly were seized from a vehicle being driven by Carlos Zavala-Flores in Oregon. (Photo courtesy Oregon State Police)

A Juneau man has been indicted on a federal charge of drug conspiracy following an April arrest in Oregon after he reportedly was stopped with a large amount of drugs and money in his vehicle.

Carlos Zavala-Flores, 38, of Juneau, was arraigned in U.S. District Court Tuesday and pleaded not guilty. He has been charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana; he also faces criminal forfeiture allegations involving $6,750 in alleged drug proceeds and the vehicle, a Chevrolet Tahoe.

On Friday, Zavala-Flores was back in court to request a release from prison while awaiting trial; no trial date has yet been set.

Defense attorney Larry Roloff noted that the pre-trial services report from probation outlined concerns that his client might be a flight risk, but he told Judge Leslie Longenbaugh that Zavala-Flores wants to get on a good path for his children’s sake.

Roloff said the proposed conditions of release were fairly stringent and included Zavala-Flores establishing a local residence, getting into a drug treatment program, surrendering his passport and home detention with a GPS monitor.

“It’s a real concern, that there was so much in the car,” Longenbaugh said. “I have to be concerned about protecting the community.”

She added several extra terms to the conditions before granting the request for release, including no alcohol, no firearms, and travel to be restricted to Juneau. Longenbaugh also cautioned Zavala-Flores against using marijuana, since it considered illegal under federal law.

Zavala-Flores was arrested on April 26 after being stopped by an Oregon State Police trooper on Interstate 5 near the Medford area for several traffic violations.

The trooper reportedly observed indications of criminal activity and obtained consent to search the Tahoe. The search of the vehicle revealed approximately 22 pounds of marijuana, 6.8 pounds of cocaine and over $6,700 in cash.

Zavala-Flores and his passenger, Jorge Armando Lopez-Villareal, 27, of California, were arrested.

Lopez-Villareal was arrested on July 26 in Medford and was to be remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals. An arraignment on the same charge, drug conspiracy, will be scheduled when he is transported to Juneau, according to online court records.

Zavala-Flores had been implicated as an informant in a 2011 drug deal in Juneau that sent two twin brothers to prison. He subsequently pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of possessing a controlled substance.

• Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 523-2246 or liz.kellar@juneauempire.com.