FOUR MEMBERS OF BURLINGTON FAMILY INDICTED FOR COCAINE TRAFFICKING
Lead Defendant Sent Wife and Two Brothers to Drug Deal with Undercover Police Officer
Four members of a Bellingham area family were indicted by a federal grand jury in Seattle today for Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine. JOSE G. PERALES-VENEGAS (33), his wife NEREYDA YASMIN PERALES (26), both of Burlington, Washington, and his two brothers, JAVIER PERALES-VENEGAS (40), of Burlington, and JUAN P PERALES-VENEGAS (34), were arrested April 17, 2009, following a drug deal with an undercover police officer. In addition to the conspiracy count, JOSE G. PERALES-VENEGAS is charged with three counts of Cocaine Distribution. JOSE, JUAN and JAVIER PERALES-VENEGAS are also charged with Possession of a Firearm During a Drug Trafficking Crime for possessing a Rossi .38 Special Revolver during a drug deal. If convicted the male defendants face a mandatory minimum ten years in prison. NEREYDA YASMIN PERALES faces a mandatory minimum five years in prison.
According to records filed in the case, in early February of 2009, the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force (NWRDTF) began and investigation of cocaine trafficking in Whatcom County, Washington. An undercover police officer purchased cocaine from JOSE PERALES-VENEGAS on two occasions in February. The men negotiated a larger sale of two kilos in April. The drugs were to be delivered on April 17, 2009. Agents observed NEREYDA YASMIN PERALES leave the family home and drop her husband off at the El Cazador restaurant where he worked. She then drove to the marina where the drug deal was to take place. Agents observed two men in a Toyota Camry who appeared to be following PERALES. After NEREYDA YASMIN PERALES delivered the drugs in exchange for $55,000 in cash, she was arrested. The two men in the Camry who parked nearby were also arrested and a gun was found in their car. The men were JOSE G. PERALES-VENEGAS’s brothers. When he was arrested JOSE G. PERALES-VENEGAS admitted he had supplied the gun to his brothers to protect his wife and the drugs during the drug deal.
The defendants were originally charged in Whatcom County Superior Court. Following close consultation with the Whatcom County Prosecutors Office and the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force (NWRDTF), the case was referred for federal prosecution.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case was investigated by the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force (NWRDTF), including detective from the Whatcom county Sheriff’s Department, the Bellingham Police Department, the Ferndale Police Department, the Washington State Patrol, and an agent of the U.S. Border Patrol, assisted in this case by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William H. Redkey, Jr.
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.