News and Press Releases

Defendant Part of Major Snohomish County Drug Distribution Network of Highly Pure “Ice”

May 30, 2006

MANUAL RUIZ-MALDONADO, 28, of Everett, Washington was sentenced to 14 years in prison and five years of supervised release today in U.S. District Court in Seattle for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, Distribution of Methamphetamine and Cocaine, and Possession of Cocaine. RUIZ-MALDONADO was convicted December 7, 2005 following a seven day jury trial in front of U.S. District Judge James L. Robart.

According to the evidence presented at trial, RUIZ-MALDONADO was a key player in an extensive drug distribution ring in Snohomish County. The group sold cocaine and a pure form of methamphetamine called “Ice.” An undercover detective working with the Snohomish County Narcotics task force began making drug buys from the group in late 2004. In one instance the undercover detective was able to purchase as much as a quarter pound of the highly pure ice. During a court ordered wiretap on RUIZ-MALDONADO’s phone, agents intercepted more than 1200 calls where RUIZ-MALDONADO discussed his drug dealing. In some of the calls RUIZ-MALDONADO is arguing with his girlfriend about being late because of his drug dealing. RUIZ-MALDONADO was arrested July 21, 2005.

Eleven others in the drug ring have already entered guilty pleas and been sentenced. Fidel Daza-Miranda was sentenced to twelve years in prison. Eleno Rios-Ortiz was sentenced to six and a half years in prison and Miguel Cisneros was sentenced to five and a half years in prison.

At sentencing today Assistant United States Attorney Doug Whalley told the court, “Highly pure methamphetamine is very addictive and very destructive. Snohomish County has one of the more severe ‘ice’ problems in the country. This was a very successful prosecution of a major distribution ring.”

RUIZ-MALDONADO is a Mexican National who was legally in the United States at the time of his arrest. He will likely be deported following his prison term.

The case was investigated by the Snohomish County Narcotics Task Force and the DEA. This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Douglas B. Whalley and Susan Roe.

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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