El Rancho Viejo manager pleads not guilty to drug charges

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: December 2, 2011, 6:06 PM

 

The El Rancho Viejo restaurant manager accused of selling methamphetamine out of the business was arraigned Friday on five felony drug charges.

Ramon Lopez-Guitron, 44, pleaded not guilty to four counts of delivery of a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to commit delivery of a controlled substance.

Trial was set for Jan. 30.

As of Friday, Lopez-Guitron had posted bond for a $50,000 bail and was being released from the Clark County Jail, said his newly retained attorney, Maggie Evansen.

 The charges allege Lopez-Guitron delivered meth on four separate occasions between October 2009 and February of this year. The conspiracy charge alleges he planned to sell meth between October 2009 and November.

Prosecutors said in charging papers that the investigation revealed “the offender to have occupied a high position in the drug distribution hierarchy.”

Police said Lopez-Guitron allegedly sold meth from the restaurant at 6321 E. Fourth Plain Blvd. for at least two years, according to court documents. He was allegedly caught selling meth to undercover informants several times, including 4 ounces in October 2009 and 3 ounces in January 2010.

The owner of the Mexican restaurant, Roberto Guitron, has said he was not aware Lopez-Guitron — his cousin — was allegedly involved in drug distribution.

The restaurant also has two other locations, in Camas and Ridgefield, operated by Roberto Guitron; a fourth location in Battle Ground is run by another Guitron family member.