News and Press Releases

MEXICAN NATIONAL SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN PRISON FOR DISTRIBUTING HIGHLY PURE METHAMPHETAMINE
Defendant Sold “Ice” to Confidential Informant at Various Pierce County Locations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2008

RENE AYALA-CRUZ, 37, of Tacoma, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to fifteen years in prison and five years of supervised release for three counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine. AYALA-CRUZ faced a mandatory minimum ten years in prison and could have faced additional sentencing enhancements due to two prior drug convictions. Because AYALA-CRUZ is a Mexican national, he will be deported following his prison term. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton told him “Methamphetamine is a scourge to the community and ends any debate about the legalization of drugs.”

AYALA-CRUZ was arrested February 7, 2007, after he sold highly pure methamphetamine to a confidential source who was working with law enforcement on three separate occasions. The sales occurred October 12, 2006, outside a Mexican restaurant on Pacific Highway in Tacoma, and on November 15, 2006, inside that same restaurant. The third sale also occurred on November 15, 2006 at a different Mexican restaurant on Pacific Highway in Tacoma. AYALA-CRUZ pleaded guilty January 14, 2008.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration TNET Task Force, comprised of DEA agents and local law enforcement officers from Tacoma Police, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, Washington State Department of Corrections, Bonney Lake Police and Auburn Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Douglas J. Hill. Mr. Hill is a Deputy Pierce County Prosecutor who is specially designated to handle drug cases in Federal Court.

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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