News and Press Releases

DRUG DEALER WHO ONCE CALLED HIMSELF “UNTOUCHABLE” PLEADS GUILTY
Former Student at Cascadia Community College Faces Lengthy Prison Term for Leading Local Drug Ring

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2008

JAVIER SANCHEZ-VASQUEZ, 28, a/k/a Augusto Cortes-Moran, a/k/a “Cookie,” pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Heroin. As part of the plea deal SANCHEZ-VASQUEZ forfeits to the government more than $1.2 million in cash stashed in various homes and cars. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the government will not recommend a sentence longer than 16 years in prison, and the defense must recommend at least 11 years in prison. SANCHEZ-VASQUEZ will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez on April 18, 2008, at 9:30 a.m.

According to records filed in the case, SANCHEZ-VASQUEZ ran a drug trafficking organization out of his residence in Kirkland, while he was enrolled in classes at Cascadia Community College. SANCHEZ-VASQUEZ was arrested in April 2007, following a a nine month investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force (SRDTF). As part of the probe, investigators used a confidential informant and court authorized wire taps of SANCHEZ-VASQUEZ’s telephone. The organization was bringing heroin and cocaine up from Mexico and distributing it in King and Snohomish Counties. SANCHEZ-VASQUEZ told the informant he was “untouchable” by law enforcement. The case name for the operation became “Los Intocables” or “The Untouchables.”

On April 9, 2007, investigators served search warrants at SANCHEZ-VASQUEZ’s Kirkland home and at a stash house he had rented in north Seattle. At the two locations they found more than 16 kilos of cocaine and more than 10 kilos of heroin. In addition investigators seized: $227,720 in cash from a vehicle in an Arlington commercial storage locker; $105,711 in cash from the Kirkland residence; $608,900 in cash from SANCHEZ-VASQUEZ’s black Ford Explorer; and $272,840 inside his White Honda Accord.

Three members of the drug ring have already pleaded guilty and been sentenced. Wilver Mira-Flores, a/k/a Macrino Acevedo-Cuevas, 27, pleaded guilty September 17, 2007, to Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Heroin and was sentenced December 14, 2007, to ten years in prison. Carlos Velasquez, a/k/a Gabriel Ramirez Castro, 31, pleaded guilty August 24, 2007, and was sentenced November 16, 2007, to five years in prison for Distribution of a Controlled Substance. Rodolfo Navarro-Gomez, 28, pleaded guilty July 31, 2007, and was sentenced on October 26, 2007, to five years in prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances. Two defendants have pleaded guilty and will be sentenced later this year: Lennon Vasquez-Soto, a/k/a Jose Vasquez-Contreras, 21, and Dion Brady Lykins, 43. Lykins is a U.S. citizen and a resident of Marysville. The other defendants are Mexican nationals and will be deported after they have served their sentences.

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 is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Adam Cornell and Assistant United States Attorney Douglas Whalley. Mr. Cornell is a Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor specially designated to handle drug prosecutions 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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