RENTON COUPLE FOUND GUILTY OF CONSPIRACY TO DISTRIBUTE COCAINE
Pair Arrested Driving Up I-5 with 6 Kilos of Cocaine in a Hidden Compartment
MARISOL PEREZ-ALMONTE, 28, and RUBEN RAMIREZ-VENTURA, 25, both of Renton, Washington, were convicted today in U.S. District Court in Seattle of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. The jury deliberated about three hours following the five day trial in front of Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik. Because of the amount of cocaine involved, the defendants face a mandatory minimum ten years in prison up to life in prison when sentenced on February 4, 2010.
According to testimony at trial, RAMIREZ-VENTURA was identified by law enforcement as a supplier of cocaine to a local distributor in the Seattle area. A Seattle detective gathered information that it was RAMIREZ-VENTURA’s common law wife, PEREZ-ALMONTE, that had a cocaine connection to drug traffickers based in Sinaloa, Mexico. In February 2010, the couple made a trip to Moreno Valley, in Southern California, leaving at 1:00 in the morning and driving straight through the night. The next day they met at a motel with an unidentified man. Law enforcement agents had them under surveillance. They watched as the couple moved their Chevy Tahoe to a secluded part of the parking lot while RAMIREZ-VENTURA was seen tampering with various objects in the rear passenger seat, while PEREZ-ALMONTE sat in the front seat and watched him. Then the couple quickly began their drive north. Near Ashland, Oregon, the couple was pulled over for speeding. A drug detecting canine alerted to the car. After obtaining a warrant, investigators found six kilos of cocaine hidden in the cushions of the rear passenger seat.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Seattle Police Department, with assistance from the Oregon State Police and the West Covina, California Police Department.
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.