News and Press Releases

KELSO MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DRUG TRAFFICKING
Distributed Meth and Cocaine in Southwest Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2009

RAFAEL GUTIERREZ-BARAJAS, 43, of Kelso, Washington, pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine. GUTIERREZ-BARAJAS faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, and up to 40 years in prison, a $2,000,000 fine, and four years of supervised release.

According to court documents, during November and December, 2008, RAFAEL GUTIERREZ-BARAJAS was involved with others in selling methamphetamine and cocaine in southwest Washington. On December 9, 2008, a search warrant was executed at GUTIERREZ-BARAJAS’s residence, on Cedar Street, in Kelso, Washington. More than 50 grams of methamphetamine and quantities of cocaine were recovered, along with trafficking paraphernalia.

Sentencing is set for June 28, 2009 before the Honorable Benjamin H. Settle.

This case is part of a series of cases focused upon the organized distribution of methamphetamine in southern Washington. It was investigated by the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force in Longview, Washington, 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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