News and Press Releases

Large quantities of Methamphetamine Brought from California for Distribution in SW Washington

March 29, 2006

JULIO ORELLANA, 35, of Vancouver, Washington was convicted today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma of nine counts related to the distribution of Methamphetamine. After a three day trial the jury deliberated forty minutes before reaching the guilty verdict. ORELLANA was found guilty 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. When sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton on June 30, 2006, ORELLANA faces ten years to life in prison on the drug charges. Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Crime requires an additional 5 year sentence following the time served for the underlying criminal conduct.

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 did not testify at trial, but had previously 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.

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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