News and Press Releases

MEMBERS OF PIERCE COUNTY DRUG DISTRIBUTION RING SENTENCED TO PRISON
Female Co-conspirator Ferried Cocaine and Meth under Clothing while Pregnant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2007

Three members of a prolific Pierce County drug distribution ring were sentenced today to prison for their rolls in distributing large quantities of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. All three are Mexican nationals who will be deported following their prison terms. A fourth defendant, Thomas Mendoza-Aguilar, faces ten years in prison when he is sentenced in August. These defendants were arrested and prosecuted as part of a lengthy investigation with court approved wire-taps.

EDUARDO GOMEZ-RAMIREZ, 26, of Kalama, Washington, was sentenced to 60 months in prison. GOMEZ-RAMIREZ picked up drugs from ring members in Tacoma and distributed them in Southwest Washington. A search of GOMEZ-RAMIREZ’s apartment revealed not only cocaine, methamphetamine and cash, but ten cellular phones. GOMEZ-RAMIREZ's roommate was still wearing an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet as part of his pretrial release on a drug case in Nebraska.

MANUEL BRAVO-GERALDO, 24, of Sea-Tac, Washington was sentenced to 37 months in prison. In BRAVO-GERALDO’s apartment investigators found cocaine, methamphetamine, cutting agents, scales, packaging materials and more than $40,000 in cash hidden in the oven.

ROSALVA VILLAVICENCIO-CHAVEZ, 23, of Tacoma, Washington, was sentenced to 37 months in prison. VILLAVICENCIO-CHAVEZ heard on numerous wire tap conversations lining up drug deals. When agents searched her apartment they found cocaine, methamphetamine, cutting agents and packaging materials as well as $3,000 cash hidden in a rice bag. VILLAVICENCIO-CHAVEZ returned to the apartment while the agents were still there. VILLAVICENCIO-CHAVEZ was eight months pregnant and had hidden a kilo of cocaine under her clothing. VILLAVICENCIO-CHAVEZ’s husband, Thomas Mendoza-Aguilar, is scheduled to be sentenced August 31, 2007.

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 DEA and the Seattle Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, Tacoma Police Department, Puyallup Police Department, Bonney Lake Police Department, Auburn Police Department, Department of Corrections, Port of Seattle Police and the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew Thomas and Vince Lombardi.

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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