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MOUNT VERNON RESIDENT GETS SEVEN YEAR SENTENCE FOR METH DISTRIBUTION
Three Members of Drug Ring Sentenced; Associate Was Fatally Shot During Drug Raid

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 21, 2006

JOSE ANTONIO HERNANDEZ-NAVA, 30, of Mount Vernon, Washington was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Tacoma today to 84 months in prison and five years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. Two of HERNANDEZ-NAVA’s associates were also sentenced by U.S. District Judge Franklin D. Burgess today. JOSE DELORES CANO, 33, of Lynnwood, Washington, was sentenced to three years in prison and five years of supervised release. JESUS ESQUIVEL-PEREZ, 21, of Lynnwood was sentenced to four years in prison and five years of supervised release. All three men are Mexican nationals who were in the United States illegally and likely will be deported following their prison terms.

According to records in the case, the investigation began in February, 2006, when a confidential source told the DEA Tacoma Drug Task Force that a man later identified as JOSE DELORES CANO was selling pound quantities of methamphetamine. JOSE DELORES CANO and JESUS ESQUIVEL-PEREZ completed two sales of methamphetamine to the confidential source in the Fife, Washington area. The third drug deal was to involve four pounds of methamphetamine. CANO, ESQUIVEL-PEREZ and a third man, EDGARDO BELTRAN-OSUNA, 28, of Everett, Washington, were arrested at the drug deal location in the parking lot of Southcenter Mall in Tukwila, Washington. In the car with CANO were four pounds of methamphetamine.

The arrests led agents to JOSE ANTONIO HERNANDEZ-NAVA who had supplied the other conspirators with methamphetamine. At JOSE ANTONIO HERNANDEZ-NAVA’s home officers found additional methamphetamine, a gun, ammunition and a vehicle outfitted with a hidden compartment.

HERNANDEZ-NAVA agreed to take investigators to the home of his drug source. When agents arrived at the home in Sedro-Wooley, the source pointed a handgun at one of the DEA agents. The suspect, 28-year-old Jose Villa-Garcia was shot and killed. Villa-Garcia’s girlfriend and her two children were in the home at the time of the gun battle. Neither they nor any of the law enforcement officers were injured.

HERNANDEZ-NAVA, CANO and ESQUIVEL-PEREZ all pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine on April 14, 2006.

EDGARDO BELTRAN-OSUNA pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine on May 10, 2006 and will be sentenced on August 31, 2006.

The case was investigated by the DEA/TNET Task Force, comprised of DEA agents and local law enforcement officers from Tacoma Police, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, Washington State Department of Corrections, Puyallup Police Department, Bonney Lake Police and Auburn Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Douglas J. Hill. Hill is a Deputy Pierce County Prosecutor who is specially designated to handle drug cases in Federal Court.

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

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