Comments Off on Wash. cedar mill used as cover for meth trafficking ring

ABERDEEN, Wash. – Federal drug agents busted a meth distribution operation on Quinault tribal land that used a cedar shingle mill as cover, arresting seven people and seizing more than 12 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a spare tire, U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said.

Feds: Wash. cedar mill used as cover for meth trafficking ring

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents found more than 12 pounds of methamphetamine in this spare tire.

 
The arrests also led to the discovery of a drug lab in Stockton, Calif., where drug agents seized 66 more pounds of crystal meth, 88 pounds of liquid meth and assault rifles destined for Mexico.
The leader of the drug smuggling organization, Jose Naur Sanchez, 34, of Amanda Park, Wash., allegedly sought to disguise his trafficking activity with the operation of a cedar shingle mill.
Two other suspects, Israel Magana Espinoza, 36, Neilton, Wash., and Cristian Calles, 28, of Aberdeen were tracked to the drug lab in Stockton, Calif., Durkan said in a prepared statement.
“These defendants, who have ties to Mexican cartels, wrongly thought they could hide their drug activity in a rural area and on tribal land,” Durkan said.  “I congratulate the Quinault Nation Narcotics Enforcement Team and Grays Harbor Drug Task Force who were key partners with federal law enforcement in putting a stop to this drug distribution in their community.”
The arrests followed a months-long investigation into trafficking in the area under the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Sanchez is charged by indictment with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Espinoza and Calles are charged by indictment with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
Because of the large drug quantities involved, if convicted the men face a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison and up to life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000,000.
To date, federal agents have arrested 17 persons tied to this drug cartel.

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