News and Press Releases

"Moses Lake Drug Trafficker Sentenced To Over 16 Years in Federal Prison"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2013

Spokane - Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington announced that Martin Murillo-Barriga, age 36, of Moses Lake, Washington, was sentenced today after being convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and other offenses relating to the operation of a methamphetamine trafficking organization between May of 2010 and July of 2011. Senior United States District Judge Edward Shea sentenced Murillo-Barriga to a 16 ½ year term of imprisonment, to be followed by an 8 year term of court supervision following release from Federal prison. As a condition of that supervision, Murillo-Barriga is prohibited from returning to the United States – he is not a United States citizen and faces deportation to Mexico as a result the convictions in this case.

In April, 2012, Murillo-Barriga was charged by way of a five-count Indictment with the following offenses: Conspiracy to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Actual Methamphetamine and 500 Grams or More of a Mixture or Substance Containing a Detectable Amount of Methamphetamine; Possession of 5 Grams or More of Actual Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute within 1,000 Feet of a School; Maintaining a Drug Involved Premises within 1,000 Feet of a School; Possession of Methamphetamine; and Attempted Possession with Intent to Distribute 50 grams or More of Actual Methamphetamine. The charges against Murillo-Barriga were tried before a jury and, on October 10, 2012, he was convicted on all counts.

At today's sentencing hearing, the judge found that Murillo-Barriga was a leader of a methamphetamine trafficking organization, that he committed the offenses as part of a pattern of criminal conduct engaged in as a livelihood, that he maintained a premises for the purpose of manufacturing or distributing a controlled substance, and that firearms were possessed during the offense. The judge also found that the Moses Lake property from which Murillo-Barriga directed the drug trafficking organization bordered a primary grade school. Murillo-Barriga faced a mandatory minimum term of 10 years of imprisonment but, based on the above aggravating factors, the judge imposed a 16 ½ year sentence.

Michael C. Ormsby stated that, "The sentence imposed today reflects the serious consequences associated with trafficking in methamphetamine, particularly when it is conducted so close to a grade school. The law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation should be commended for their efforts in investigating this, and other drug trafficking organizations. This case is yet one more example of the strong partnership among law enforcement professional here in the Eastern District of Washington."

The investigation of this case, which was related to a larger investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration that led to the service of several search warrants and the arrest of numerous individuals, was conducted by the Spokane Regional Drug Task Force in cooperation with the Moses Lake Police Department, the Grant County Sheriffs Office, the Grant County Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, the Oregon State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; Immigrations and Customs Enforcement; and the United States Marshall's Service.

This case was prosecuted by Timothy J. Ohms and Caitlin A. Baunsgard, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.

11-CR-108-EFS

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