News and Press Releases

BELLINGHAM MAN SENTENCED TO MORE THAN 15 YEARS IN PRISON FOR DRUGS, ASSAULT AND WITNESS TAMPERING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2005

MARTIN MEDINA, JR. of Bellingham, Washington was sentenced today to 188 months in prison for four counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine, one count of Assault and two counts of Witness Tampering. In sentencing MEDINA, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik remarked that such a lengthy sentence is usually reserved for "Drug Kingpins" indicating how seriously he viewed MEDINA's drug offenses.

MEDINA was arrested in February 2004, following a series of drug deals involving methamphetamine and cocaine. In December 2004, MEDINA assaulted another inmate at the Federal Detention Center at Sea-Tac who he believed was cooperating with the government in an unrelated prosecution. A jury convicted MEDINA on the Assault and Witness Tampering charges in June 2005. MEDINA was convicted of Distribution of Methamphetamine in a bench trial one week later (June 15, 2005). In asking for the lengthy sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Patricia Lally told the court the amount of methamphetamine MEDINA sold to undercover officers was enough to make 2,800 doses of the drug. "It is not hard to imagine, given the highly addictive quality of methamphetamine, how many people fell prey to this drug, how many parents lost their children, how many students lost their way, and how many lives were wasted thanks to Medina's drug dealing efforts," Lally wrote in her sentencing memorandum.

The drug case was investigated by the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force which includes agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Whatcom County Sheriff's Department and Bellingham Police Department. The assault and witness tampering charges were investigated by the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patricia C. Lally.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington, at (206) 553-4110.

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