News and Press Releases

TACOMA MAN GETS TEN YEARS IN PRISON FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
Defendant had Previous Assault Conviction for Pulling a Gun on a Tacoma Police Officer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 2008

ANTONIO SARATE-MECINA, 42, of Tacoma, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to ten years in prison and five years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin and Distribution of Cocaine Base (Crack Cocaine). SARATE-MECINA was arrested in Tacoma August 1, 2007, after Tacoma Police officers had observed him delivering drugs on two previous occasions. SARATE-MECINA pleaded guilty July 14, 2008. U.S. District Judge Franklin D. Burgess imposed the sentence. SARATE-MECINA is a Mexican National illegally in the United States. SARATE-MECINA will likely be deported following his prison term.

According to the plea agreement, on July 27, 2007, and August 1, 2007, Tacoma Police officers were watching as SARATE-MECINA delivered heroin to a go-between. That person delivered the drugs to a confidential informant working for the Tacoma Police. As officers watched, the go-between then delivered the drug “buy money” back to SARATE-MECINA. On August 1, 2007, officers served a search warrant on SARATE-MECINA’s apartment in the 17700 block of 30th Ave. East in Tacoma. Inside the apartment they found heroin and $34,000 cash. In SARATE-MECINA’s car they found crack cocaine.

Prosecutors asked for the lengthy sentence noting that in 1996, SARATE-MECINA was convicted of Assault and sentenced in Pierce County Superior Court to 77 months in prison. In that case SARATE-MECINA was being followed by a narcotics officer. According to court records SARATE-MECINA tried to pull a gun on the officer and had to be wrestled to the ground and disarmed.

The case was investigated by the Tacoma Police Department (TPD). The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Douglas Hill. Mr. Hill is a Deputy Pierce County Prosecutor 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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