Plea delayed for dealing meth out of restaurant

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

Updated: November 27, 2012, 4:16 PM

 

A food service manager is expected to plead guilty Dec. 15 to dealing methamphetamine out of Vancouver's El Rancho Viejo Family Restaurant.

Ramon Lopez-Guitron, 45, appeared today in Clark County Superior Judge Daniel Stahnke's courtroom for a scheduled guilty plea, but the plea was delayed to allow the defense time to complete paperwork.

The prosecution and defense have reached an agreement for a guilty plea, said Deputy Prosecutor Randy St. Clair.

In exchange, Lopez-Guitron would be convicted of just one felony and a gross misdemeanor instead of five felony charges he now faces. Those charges are four counts of delivery of a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to commit delivery of a controlled substance.

His guilty plea and sentencing are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Dec. 15. St. Clair said Lopez-Guitron would likely not have to serve time in prison and would receive credit for time served in jail. The amount of time he's already served was not available today. He is now on supervised release, St. Clair said.

Lopez-Guitron is accused of dealing methamphetamine out of the family-owned and operated restaurant between October 2009 and January 2010. He was arrested after he allegedly sold methamphetamine to uncover informants on several occasions at the restaurant, 6321 E. Fourth Plain Blvd.

Prosecutors alleged in charging papers that the investigation revealed he "occupied a high position in the drug distribution hierarchy."

El Rancho Viejo also has locations in Camas, Ridgefield and Battle Ground, all operated by members of Lopez-Guitron's family.