News and Press Releases

Men Repeatedly Sold Cocaine to Undercover Agents

July 21, 2006

MIGUEL ALMEJO PALOMERA, 28, of Monroe, Washington, and JUAN PAULO PALOMERA ALMEJO, 20, of Bothell, Washington, were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle for Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine. MIGUEL ALMEJO PALOMERA was sentenced to 57 months in prison. JUAN PAULO PALOMERA ALMEJO was sentenced to 36 months in prison. At sentencing U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said he wants the sentences to “reflect the seriousness of the drug problem.”

Both men were arrested on June 23, 2005, following a five month undercover investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the South Snohomish County Narcotics Task Force (SSCNTF). According to documents filed in the case, on six separate occasions between January and April 2005, MIGUEL PALOMERA, or his brother JUAN PALOMERA ALMEJO, sold an undercover detective cocaine. At the time of their arrests officers discovered more than 2.7 kilograms of cocaine in their apartments. When they entered their guilty pleas on September 20, 2005, the men admitted distributing more than 4.3 kilograms of cocaine as part of their conspiracy. The men sold the drugs to undercover officers at various shopping mall parking lots in the Monroe and Bothell areas.

MIGUEL ALMEJO PALOMERA was legally residing in the United States. JUAN PALOMERA ALMEJO had entered the country illegally. Both men worked at a Woodinville area winery. In asking for a substantial sentence Assistant United States Attorney John J. Lulejian noted that both had traded opportunities for crime. “Miguel Almejo was fortunate to legally reside in the United States and raise his family in a free society, away from the poverty of Mexico. He took advantage of this precious opportunity and chose not to respect and follow the laws of his adopted home . . . poisoning American citizens with his illegal wares . . .” Lulejian wrote in his sentencing memorandum.

The case was investigated by the DEA and South Snohomish County Narcotics Task Force (SSCNTF) and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John J. Lulejian.

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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