News and Press Releases

Mexican National Conspired to Distribute Highly Pure Methamphetamine

April 5, 2006

JOSE VAZQUEZ-LOPEZ, age 47, of Vancouver, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 63 months in prison and three years of supervised release. VAZQUEZ-LOPEZ had pleaded guilty on December 21, 2006. VAZQUEZ-LOPEZ is the last of three defendants to be sentenced for Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute. Judge Ronald B. Leighton had previously sentenced Sanbino Garcia-Quiroz a/k/a Otoniel Rodriguez-Mercado, age 29, of Vancouver, Washington to 151 months in prison and Jose Angel Lopez-Aguilar, age 26, to 135 months in prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. All three men will be deported following their prison terms. At sentencing, Judge Leighton noted that the case involved a significant amount of methamphetamine and the lengthy prison sentence was necessary to deter the defendant from future crimes.

JOSE VAZQUEZ-LOPEZ was arrested on January 14, 2006 as he and two other co-conspirators returned by car to the Vancouver, Washington area from California. The men had been under investigation as part of a federal-local effort to eradicate methamphetamine dealing in Southwest Washington. Under the back seat of the car, authorities found more than eight pounds of methamphetamine with a purity of 98%. Such highly pure methamphetamine, dubbed “Ice” has been flowing into the northwest up the I-5 corridor from Mexico. Authorities also found $12,000 in cash in the car.

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 investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Clark-Skamania Drug Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew H. Thomas and Sarah Y. Vogel.

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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