News and Press Releases

Defendant Continued to Purchase Drugs Despite Contact with Law Enforcement

June 2, 2010

BRYAN BOLTON, 35, of Seattle, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to eight years in prison and three years of supervised release for possession of heroin with intent to distribute. BOLTON was identified and arrested as part of operation “We Own the Night” which dismantled a heroin and cocaine drug smuggling ring. “Night” is a common code word traffickers use for heroin because of its dark color. BOLTON is one of six people arrested in October and November 2009, following the lengthy wiretap investigation. At the end of the investigation, law enforcement executed federal search warrants at several residences in the greater Seattle area, identified during the investigation as locations used to facilitate drug trafficking activity. In total, agents seized 14 kilograms of cocaine, 4 pounds of heroin, and $95,000 in currency. U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour imposed the sentenced.

According to records filed in the case, in July 2008, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Seattle Police Department began an investigation of a group distributing pound quantities of heroin and cocaine in the Seattle area. BOLTON was identified in the investigation ordering pound quantities of heroin. BOLTON was first contacted by law enforcement the first week in September 2009, after the delivery of more than a pound of heroin to his home. The drugs were seized, but BOLTON was not arrested while the investigation continued. BOLTON was warned not to engage in additional drug trafficking. Despite that warning, a few weeks later BOLTON ordered another two pounds of heroin. The drug transaction occurred at Northgate Mall. The drugs were again seized from BOLTON, and he was arrested when the investigation of others was complete on November 2, 2009.

BOLTON pleaded guilty on December 18, 2009. Two other defendants have already been sentenced to five year prison terms. Teodoro Santos-Cruz and Cesar Gutama-Loja are both Mexican Nationals who will likely be deported following their prison terms. Ring leader Carlos Carrillo-Lopez faces a mandatory minimum ten years in prison when sentenced later this month.

In asking for a significant prison term, Assistant United States Attorney Lisca Borichewski noted BOLTON’s “extensive criminal history that dates back over 15 years, and includes convictions for theft, robbery, drug possession, and drug trafficking. The defendant’s criminal history summary also reflects the defendant had the opportunity for treatment on numerous occasions throughout the period that he continued committing crimes. Even after maintaining periods of sobriety, however, he repeatedly chose to return to a life of criminal activity,” Ms. Borichewski wrote to the court.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case was investigated by DEA and the Seattle Police Department.

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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