Leaders of Multi-State Drug Distribution Ring Sentenced in Seattle to Long Prison Terms
January 18, 2018
Conspirators from Camano Island, Mt. Vernon and Pasco Involved in Distribution of Heroin, Meth and Cocaine in Washington, Nevada and California
(SEATTLE, WA.) -- Three key players in a drug distribution ring that operated over a large swath of Washington State were sentenced late Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle to long prison terms, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.
The leader of the drug distribution ring, Baltazar Reyes-Garcia, 45, of Camano Island, Washington was sentenced to eighteen years in prison.
Hector Contreras-Ibarra, 33, Pasco, WA, was sentenced to fifteen years in prison and Angel Serrano-Carreno, 30, of Mt. Vernon, WA was sentenced to thirteen years in prison.
The drug ring distributed heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine in King, Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom Counties. At the sentencing hearing for Baltazar Reyes-Garcia, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart said the quantities of drugs involved is “immensely alarming” and noted that Reyes-Garcia was a “major drug supplier.”
“The kilograms of heroin, meth and cocaine that these defendants sold ultimately became hundreds and thousands of doses of poison in addicts’ hands,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “Make no mistake – these drugs kill or otherwise destroy lives. These defendants...earned their living off the misery of Western Washington residents.”
All three defendants were convicted in October 2017, following a ten-day jury trial. The conspirators operated stash houses on Camano Island and in Mount Vernon, as well as in Yakima and Franklin Counties. The organization also had broad connections spanning from Mexico to Nevada, Arizona and California, and north to British Columbia.
Fourteen other co-conspirators charged in the case pleaded guilty in the months following their arrests in November 2016. These other defendants in the case have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from two to twelve years in prison.
As court records and evidence admitted at trial demonstrate, law enforcement investigated the drug ring in late 2015, and early 2016, utilizing pole cameras, confidential sources, wiretaps and undercover officers to document the drug distribution activity, and identify the leaders of the ring.
In November 2016, law enforcement served search warrants on more than two dozen locations seizing two kilos of cocaine, more than $180,000 cash, and more than 20 firearms. Those totals were in addition to the seizures made during the investigation: eight kilos of methamphetamine, two kilos of cocaine, nearly a kilo of heroin, and more than $117,000 in cash.
The investigation was named “Operation Car Wash” as some of the conspirators would meet up to conduct their deals at a Mount Vernon car wash.