A 35-year-old Yakima, Washington resident was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to eight years in prison and five years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. ANTONIO TORRES-MAGANA, a citizen of Mexico, was arrested in September 2011, and pleaded guilty in April 2012. TORRES-MAGANA was arrested after he arrived at a drug deal with more than three pounds of highly pure methamphetamine in the trunk of his car. U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik imposed the sentence. The case was part of the White Center Initiative in the fall of 2011.
According to records filed in the case, an undercover officer contacted a source in Mexico about obtaining methamphetamine. The source in Mexico claimed a cousin in Yakima, Washington could provide the drugs. Just days later, the undercover officer was contacted by an associate of TORRES-MAGANA who said they were leaving Yakima, headed to Seattle to do the drug deal. The men stopped in Renton, Washington, picked up more than 1.6 kilograms of highly pure methamphetamine, and were arrested when they met up with the undercover officer to do the drug deal.
In asking for a ten year prison sentence prosecutors wrote to the court that “from inception of negotiations to the arrest of the defendant, the whole transaction took only a matter of days. These facts show that the individuals the defendant was dealing with were significant narcotics traffickers. These were not street level methamphetamine dealers.”
The White Center ‘Hot Spot’ initiative targeted law enforcement resources in the White Center area from July to October 2011. The operation focused on illegal gun sales and drug dealing both on the street and in area businesses. In all approximately 50 people were arrested and law enforcement seized 68 guns, 51 lbs of methamphetamine, 2 lbs of crack cocaine and more than 10 lbs of powder cocaine.
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The investigation was a coordinated joint effort by ATF, the King County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigation (HSI), the Seattle Police Department, the King County Metro Transit Police, Washington State Department of Corrections, Washington State Liquor Control Board and the Eastside Narcotics Task Force.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Justin Arnold.
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov. Follow us on Twitter @WDWAnews.