News and Press Releases

Admitted “Surenos” Gang Member Sold Meth to Confidential Informant

December 7, 2009

TONY HERNANDEZ, 32, of Vancouver, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to seven years in prison and five years of supervised release for two counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine. HERNANDEZ is an admitted member of the Surenos, a violent street gang that originated in Southern California. HERNANDEZ has a lengthy criminal history in California and Washington. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle highlighted the addictive and destructive impact of methamphetamine.

According to records filed in the case, HERNANDEZ was well known to members of the Safe Streets Task Force in Vancouver, Washington. In October 2008, and February 2009, a confidential informant purchased methamphetamine from HERNANDEZ in the parking lot of a Fred Meyer Store on Southeast Mill Plain Blvd. Both sales in the middle of the day were witnessed by undercover officers with the anti-gang task force. When HERNANDEZ’ Vancouver residence was searched, officers found ammunition for a .357 caliber handgun. HERNANDEZ is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition because of his prior convictions.

HERNANDEZ has prior convictions for Robbery (1997), drug trafficking (1999) and domestic violence (2005) in California. In Washington State he has prior convictions for Domestic Violence (2007), Violating a protective order (2007) and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (2007).

In his sentencing memo, Assistant United States Attorney Mike Dion asked for a lengthy prison term to protect the public saying, “Twelve previous convictions for serious crimes have not convinced Hernandez to change his ways. If anything, he is becoming more dangerous. He is trafficking drugs, and his pattern of domestic violence.... is terrifying.... He has been a destructive menace for a long time.”

HERNANDEZ was indicted by the grand jury on the current charges April 22, 2009.

The case was investigated by the Safe Streets Task Force made up of agents and officers of the Vancouver Police Department, the FBI, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Department of Corrections.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Dion.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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