News and Press Releases

Defendant Fled Scene of 2008 Drug Deal Involving more than 4 Kilos of Crystal Meth

July 8, 2010

RAFAEL AVILES MORENO, 27, formerly of Bothell, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 10 years in prison and five years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. AVILES MORENO is a Mexican citizen who likely will be deported following his prison term. AVILES MORENO was arrested in Las Vegas last year after a traffic stop. He had been wanted by law enforcement in Washington after fleeing from a drug deal involving more than 4 kilos of crystal methamphetamine in November 2008. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly said, “....the drug business is a dangerous business... He was an important part of this drug transaction.”

According to records filed in the case, AVILES MORENO arranged a drug deal involving three deliveries of methamphetamine totaling more than 28 pounds. The first delivery was arranged for November 20, 2008, in the parking lot of a busy Mexican restaurant in north Seattle. After law enforcement confirmed more than four kilos of suspected crystal meth was in the trunk of one of the vehicles at the drug deal, law enforcement moved in to arrest AVILES MORENO and his two associates. AVILES MORENO in one car, and two associates in the another fled police at a high rate of speed. AVILES MORENO escaped – the other two were captured. One of the associates, Carlos Villalobos, had possession of two loaded firearms at the time of his arrest. AVILES MORENO admitted Villalobos was acting as security for him and his drugs at the drug deal. AVILES MORENO says he lived in the Seattle area for a time after the drug deal, then moved on to California and Las Vegas where he was arrested in November 2009, following a traffic stop.

AVILES MORENO pleaded guilty February 23, 2010. AVILES MORENO has a prior conviction for drug trafficking in North Carolina in 2002. He also has two arrests for drug dealing in Phoenix in 2004. For both AVILES MORENO failed to appear for court proceedings.

In asking for a lengthy prison term, Assistant United States Attorney Kate Crisham noted that AVILES MORENO’s criminal history contains acts of violence. AVILES MORENO “admits to being involved in three separate shooting incidents as a result of his drug trafficking activities. These incidents, in addition to his willingness to have his bodyguards bring loaded weapons to a crowded family restaurant to facilitate a methamphetamine deal, make clear that Defendant is a violent individual who has repeatedly put American citizens at risk through his drug trafficking activities,” Ms. Crisham wrote in her sentencing memo.

The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kate Crisham.

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.

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