News and Press Releases

Defendant Ran Violent Drug Distribution Ring from SeaTac Compound

November 16, 2007

ALBERT BARRIENTES, 33, of SeaTac, Washington, was sentenced today to 20 years in prison and five years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Possession of Firearms in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking Crimes. At sentencing, Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg told U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour, that BARRIENTES “has earned that 20 year sentence through a long course of criminal conduct.”

According to records filed in the case, in 2005 and 2006, BARRIENTES sold methamphetamine to a confidential source and others throughout the Seattle Area. Some of the transactions took place outside his compound in Sea-Tac. The residence was protected by a system of traps and surveillance cameras. BARRIENTES was heavily armed to protect his drug supply. At the time of his arrest on September 8, 2006, BARRIENTES carried a Glock semi-automatic 9 mm pistol, Model 17, and a Glock semi-automatic 9 mm pistol, Model 19. A search of his compound resulted in the seizure of seven firearms including sawed-off and pistol-grip shotguns. In addition, a search of BARRIENTES’ girlfriend’s apartment yielded a loaded Smith & Wesson 9 mm pistol, and a loaded Masterpiece Arms Defender .45 caliber pistol. In BARRIENTES’ car police found a loaded Glock semi-automatic 9mm pistol, Model 17.

According to prosecutors, law enforcement officers have documented BARRIENTES’ long history of gang violence in the Seattle area. In 1996, BARRIENTES was sentenced to 36 months in prison for the June 21, 1996 shooting near the Pike Place Market. BARRIENTES had jumped out of his car when he saw rival gang members and shot at them with a 12-gauge shotgun. BARRIENTES recruited teens to live at his compound, involving them in gangs, drugs and violence. Some were as young as 14-years-old. In all, BARRIENTES has 12 criminal convictions as a juvenile and 16 convictions as an adult. He has been arrested 22 additional times, though those arrests did not result in convictions.

Prosecutors summed up their request for a lengthy prison term in their sentencing memo saying, “Albert Barrientes was a violent gang member and a prolific drug dealer. He has a lengthy and serious criminal history, including convictions for a gangland shooting, drug trafficking, firearms offenses, and violent assaults.”

The case was investigated by the ATF Violent Gang Task Force, including officers from the Seattle Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Department, and the Department of Corrections.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg.

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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