News and Press Releases

Defendant had a Half Kilo of Meth Hidden in Secret Wall Compartment

March 3, 2009

EUGENIO GUTIERREZ-BARAJAS, 36, of Kalama, Washington, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute and being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm. The drug offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and up to life, a maximum $4,000,000 fine, and mandatory period of supervised release of five years.

According to court documents, on September 12, 2008, as part of a drug investigation, the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant at a residence on Todd Road, in Kalama, Washington. This residence was being rented and lived in by EUGENIO GUTIERREZ-BARAJAS and his wife. EUGENIO GUTIERREZ-BARAJAS is a native of Mexico and was unlawfully in the United States. A search of the home’s master bedroom uncovered more than a half kilogram of methamphetamine. The drugs were stored in a wall accessible through the back of a dresser drawer. EUGENIO GUTIERREZ-BARAJAS admitted that he knowingly possessed these drugs intending they be distributed to others. Also inside the residence were several pounds of MSM, a commercial powder commonly used to “cut” methamphetamine and to produce greater volumes of the illicit drug. A .22 caliber Phoenix Arms semi-automatic pistol was found in a bedroom closet. The loaded ammunition clip was next to the weapon. It is a violation of law for an unlawful alien to possess a weapon. Approximately $5,500 cash was also seized from the residence.

Sentencing is set for June 15, 2009, before the Honorable Benjamin H. Settle.

The case 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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