News and Press Releases

Defendant Sold Pound Quantities of Highly Pure Meth Brought up from LA

July 7, 2006

JULIO ORELLANA, 36, of Los Angeles, California and Vancouver, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 248 months in prison for eight counts related to the distribution of Methamphetamine. ORELLANA was found guilty following a three day jury trial last March of Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, four counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, Maintaining a Drug Involved Premises, and two counts of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Crime. For legal reasons the government moved to dismiss one of the counts of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Crime at the time of sentencing. U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton told ORELLANA that he had repeatedly made poor choices.

Testimony at trial revealed that ORELLANA moved to Vancouver, Washington solely to distribute methamphetamine. ORELLANA left his wife and five children in the Los Angeles area and conspired with a man he called “Juan” to drive multiple pound quantities of methamphetamine from Southern California to Southwest Washington. Using a confidential informant investigators with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Clark/Skamania Drug Task Force purchased methamphetamine from ORELLANA on four occasions. When officers arrested ORELLANA at his Vancouver residence in the 3500 block of E. McLoughlin, a search revealed approximately two pounds of Methamphetamine, scales, cutting agents, baggies and drug ledgers. Officers also found two loaded guns: a Jennings 9mm semi-automatic pistol and a 7.62 Norinco SKS assault rifle.

ORELLANA had told investigators he sold six to ten pounds of methamphetamine a month in the Vancouver/Portland areas making $15,000 to $18,000 a month profit. ORELLANA told investigators he would drive to southern California, get the methamphetamine from his source, and drive back to Vancouver to sell it. When ORELLANA had money to pay his supplier, he would call the source asking him to drive to Vancouver. The source would drive home in a different car with the drug money hidden inside. ORELLANA told investigators he was making trips to California every seven to ten days.

In asking for a lengthy sentence Assistant United States Attorney Michael Dion noted that ORELLANA had repeatedly chosen to break the laws of the United States. “Orellana has only himself to blame for the harsh punishment he is facing. At every turn, he has made bad decisions and refused to take responsibility for his crimes. He chose to become a drug dealer, even though he had a wife, a family and a good job,” Dion wrote in his sentencing memorandum.

The case was investigated by the Clark./Skamania Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Dion and Vince Lombardi.

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

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