News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2008
Contact: S/A Rhett Fonseca
Number: (206)553-1251

Drug Dealer Who Once Called Himself "Untouchable" Pleads Guilty

JAN 28 -- (Seattle) – DEA Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Arnold R. Moorin and the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington, Jeffrey Sullivan, announced that Javier Sanchez-Vasquez pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Heroin. As part of the plea deal, Sanchez-Vasquez was required to forfeit more than $1.2 million in cash that had been stashed in various homes and cars and which was later discovered by investigators.

According to records filed in the case, Sanchez-Vasquez ran a drug trafficking organization out of his residence in Kirkland, Washington, while he was enrolled in classes at Cascadia Community College. Sanchez-Vasquez was arrested in April 2007, following a nine month investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force. As part of the probe, investigators used confidential informants and court authorized wire taps of the telephone used by Sanchez-Vasquez. The organization was bringing heroin and cocaine from Mexico and distributing it in King and Snohomish Counties. Sanchez-Vasquez had told one of the informants in the case that he and his organization were “untouchable” by law enforcement; thereafter, the investigative operation was dubbed “The Untouchables.”

On April 9, 2007, investigators served search warrants at Sanchez-Vasquez’s Kirkland home and at a stash house he had rented in north Seattle. At the two locations, investigators found more than 16 kilograms of cocaine and more than 10 kilograms of heroin. In addition, investigators seized $227,720 in cash from a vehicle in an Arlington commercial storage locker, $105,711 in cash from the Kirkland residence, and $881,740 in cash from two vehicles belonging to Sanchez-Vasquez.

Three members of the drug ring have already pleaded guilty and have been sentenced. Two additional defendants have pleaded guilty and will be sentenced later this year. Sanchez-Vasquez is scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court on April 18, 2008 and could receive a sentence of up to sixteen years in federal prison.

The investigation leading to the arrest of Sanchez-Vasquez and the other defendants in the case was an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Adam Cornell and Assistant United States Attorney Douglas Whalley.