News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2009
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-5443

Tacoma Jury Convicts Meth Trafficker
Mexican National Faces 20 Years to Life

JUN 3 -- (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 following a three day trial, a federal jury found Andres Hernandez-Vargas, a/k/a Jorge Barrajas-Sandoval guilty of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. The jury deliberated for four hours before finding Hernandez-Vargas guilty. Hernandez-Vargas faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison to life in prison when sentenced on September 4, 2009.

According to testimony at trial and records filed in the case, Hernandez-Vargas was identified by a confidential source as a methamphetamine trafficker. In October 2008, Hernandez-Vargas traveled from Seattle, Washington to Sacramento, California, in approximately twelve hours, and then immediately returned to Washington. While traveling on I-5, Hernandez-Vargas was stopped by a King County Sheriff’s Deputy for a traffic violation and was arrested on immigration charges. Later, a drug detecting K-9 alerted to the trunk of the vehicle and officers recovered a pound of methamphetamine hidden in a compartment below the windshield wipers.

Hernandez-Vargas has three previous drug trafficking convictions in King County Superior Court: Possession of Heroin (1997), Delivery of Heroin (1989), and Delivery of Cocaine (1988).

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the King County Sheriff’s Office.