MEXICAN NATIONAL WITH MULTIPLE FIREARMS PLEADS GUILTY TO DRUG CRIME
Repeat Offender had Seven Firearms at Two Vancouver Residences
JESUS MENDOZA-VIRRUETA, 32, of Vancouver, Washington, pleaded guilty late yesterday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute. As part of his plea agreement, MENDOZA-VIRRUETA agrees to a nine year prison sentence. If U.S. District Judge Franklin D. Burgess deviates from the nine year prison term when MENDOZA-VIRRUETA is sentenced on May 29, 2009, either side may withdraw from the plea agreement.
According to records filed in the case, MENDOZA-VIRRUETA sold methamphetamine to a confidential informant working with the Vancouver Police Department on multiple occasions in September 2008. In early October investigators obtained search warrants for the mobile home on NW Whitney Road in Vancouver where MENDOZA-VIRRUETA had been observed both before and after drug deals. On October 8, 2008, MENDOZA-VIRRUETA was stopped and his vehicle and the mobile home were searched. Methamphetamine was found in plastic bags in both his car and the mobile home. Two guns were found in the first mobile home – a Mossberg .12 gauge shotgun and a Marlin .22 caliber rifle. MENDOZA-VIRRUETA ultimately admitted he lived at two different mobile homes in the same park. MENDOZA-VIRRUETA gave permission to search the second residence. Inside a closet investigators recovered a Kimber .22 caliber, rifle, a Marlin,.22 caliber, rifle, a Mossberg Plinkster, .22 caliber, rifle, a Winchester,.22 caliber, rifle, and a Chinese, model MAK-90 rifle. Inside a bedroom at the residence investigators found a Colt, .38 caliber, pistol, with an obliterated serial number. Police also recovered more than $10,000 cash, multiple fake identification documents, drug cutting materials and digital scales. MENDOZA-VIRRUETA has prior felony convictions for drug trafficking in Oregon and in Arizona for illegally entering the United States.
The case was investigated by the Vancouver Police Department (VDP) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mike 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.