News and Press Releases


February 18, 2009

SYLVESTER SANTACRUZ HERNANDEZ, 21 of Vancouver, Washington, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to the felony offense of distribution of methamphetamine. The offense is punishable by up to twenty tears imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine.

According to court documents, SYLVESTER SANTACRUZ HERNANDEZ was part of a drug trafficking family in the Vancouver, Washington area involved in the distribution of sizeable quantities of methamphetamine.

Other family members already prosecuted and convicted in this case, and who are currently serving sentences of imprisonment are LUCIANO SANTACRUZ HERNANDEZ, 43, of Vancouver, Washington and FRANCISCO SANTACRUZ HERNANDEZ, 42, of Vancouver, Washington. Convicted lower level distributors included LISA LELAND, 37, and ARTHUR EWING, 47, both of Vancouver, Washington.

SYLVESTER SANTACRUZ HERNANDEZ remained a federal fugitive until he was apprehended during the Fall of 2008. In pleading guilty, SYLVESTER SANTACRUZ HERNANDEZ admitted making two separate methamphetamine deliveries to LELAND during 2006.

Sentencing is set for May 14, 2009 before U. S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Portland, Oregon, Camas, Washington Police Department, and the Clark Skamania Drug Task Force, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ron Friedman.

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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