News and Press Releases

Defendant Responsible for Distributing Hundreds of Thousands of MDMA Pills
Over a Two-Year Period

March 22, 2010

WARREN TAYLOR, 29, of University Place, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 16 years in prison and six years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Distribute Ecstasy (MDMA). TAYLOR was convicted November 13, 2009, following a week-long jury trial. At sentencing U.S. District Judge James L. Robart said, “this sentence should serve as a beacon that this type of behavior is not going to be allowed or tolerated.”

According to records in the case and testimony at trial, TAYLOR was identified as a major player in a conspiracy distributing ecstasy smuggled into the U.S. from Canada. In January 2007, investigators identified Canadian national Gordon Sin as one of a group of people smuggling large amounts of ecstasy into the U.S. from Canada. After Sin was arrested selling 104,000 ecstasy pills, agents found 109,000 ecstasy pills and $81,000 in cash at his Seattle apartment. They also found ledgers that detailed the drug distribution and identified TAYLOR as a key player in the conspiracy. The ledgers detailed the distribution of almost one million ecstasy pills during the course of the conspiracy and showed that TAYLOR was personally responsible for the sale of over 700,000 pills. Because of his two prior drug convictions, TAYLOR recruited others to assist with the drug distribution scheme, so that he personally did not have to handle the drugs in order to minimize his exposure to law enforcement. Cellular phone records obtained during the course of the investigation showed that TAYLOR made thousands of phone calls to his co-defendants over the length of the conspiracy. After the initial arrests in March 2007, all of the calls abruptly stopped. Gordon Sin was sentenced last year to five years in prison. Another co-conspirator, Ronald Banks, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

In asking for a lengthy prison sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Kate Crisham wrote to the court that “Taylor was the glue that held the entire conspiracy together. It was Taylor who initially brought Sin and Banks together, it was Taylor who personally brokered their drug deals, and it was Taylor who coordinated the ecstasy purchases and pickups. In fact, Taylor’s phone toll records revealed that he was in constant contact with Sin and Banks both prior to and during their drug deals – sometimes calling and texting them as much as thirty times a day . . . In short, there would have been no conspiracy without Taylor.”

Judge Robart said that he found the evidence from the drug ledger and telephone records very persuasive. The records showed TAYLOR contacted co-conspirators as much as 30 times a day surrounding drug shipments. Noting TAYLOR’s two prior drug distribution convictions, Judge Robart said TAYLOR’s “prior encounters with the criminal justice system did not stop him from engaging in this behavior.”

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kate Crisham and Roger Rogoff.

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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