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FINAL DEFENDANTS SENTENCED IN FIRST PHASE OF “OPERATION PINK TIGER”Lengthy Prison Term for Leader of Cocaine, Heroin, and Methamphetamine Distribution Ring

November 3, 2008

DOMINGO BAILON-YANEZ 30, of Burien, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 80 months in prison and four years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Heroin. BAILON-YANEZ is a Mexican National who will likely be deported following his prison term. BAILON-YANEZ was the leader of a drug ring targeted in a ten month investigation dubbed “Operation Pink Tiger.” The operation took its name from the original target of the probe who went by the nickname “Tigre,” and the fact that cocaine was wrapped in distinctive pink cellophane. The arrests and indictments in the case occurred in late March and early May 2008. U.S. District Judge James L. Robart imposed the sentence today.

According to records filed in the case, using confidential informants and court authorized wiretaps, law enforcement was able to uncover a distribution ring for kilo quantities of cocaine and heroin centered around El Flamingo Restaurant in Burien, Washington. Eight search warrants were served on March 25, 2008, which resulted in ten arrests, seizure of two kilos of cocaine and a pound of heroin. In addition law enforcement seized three guns, eight cars and $40,000 in cash. In May law enforcement executed seven search warrants and seized more than 16 kilos of cocaine, three guns and more than $203,000 in cash. The defendants arrested in May were charged in a separate indictment in PHASE TWO OF OPERATION PINK TIGER.

BAILON-YANEZ had previously been convicted of cocaine trafficking. He served a relatively short prison sentence and was deported. That prior criminal conviction prompted prosecutors to ask for a substantial prison term. “Defendant seems to have learned little from this experience. Defendant could have chosen to remain in Mexico and to live a law-abiding life. Instead, Defendant chose to illegally re-enter the United States, live under an alias, and, worst of all, resume working in the drug trade,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.

In addition to BAILON-YANEZ, these additional defendants have been sentenced for their roles in the conspiracy:
ANTONIO SOTELO-TELLEZ, 29, Fife, Washington, was sentenced today to 15 months in prison.
JOSE ORELLANA, 38, Burien, Washington, was sentenced to 37 months in prison on October 14, 2008.
SIRINO HERNANDEZ-CORIA, 21, Burien, Washington was sentenced to 30 months in prison on October 6, 2008.
RIGOBERTO SABALSA-LOZANO, 43, SeaTac, Washington, was sentenced to 37 months in prison on September 22, 2008.
APOLINAR GUEVARA-TEJADA, 30, Fife, Washington was sentenced to five years in prison September 22, 2008.
ALBERTO ROMAN-PEREZ, 26, Federal Way, Washington, was sentenced to one year in prison on September 15, 2008.
HUMBERTO CRISANTO-ARTEAGA, 29, SeaTac, Washington was sentenced to five months in prison on August 18, 2008.

Four additional defendants convicted as part of PHASE TWO OF OPERATION PINK TIGER will be sentenced later this year.

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 King County Sheriff’s Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the FBI.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Karyn Johnson and Sarah 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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