United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
TWO EVERETT, WASHINGTON GANG MEMBERS SENTENCED FOR DEALING OXYCODONE
One Receives Enhanced Sentence Because of Weapons Possession
Two members of the Everett, Washington gang known as the “Waco Boys,” were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to lengthy prison terms for dealing highly addictive oxycodone. RYAN NICELY, 24, was sentenced to 90 months in prison and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. JOSE LUGO, 28, was sentenced to 48 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release for distribution of oxycodone. The men were indicted in June 2010, following a lengthy investigation led federally by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).
At sentencing Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik told LUGO a story of a prior case he had handled as a judge. Judge Lasnik described how an infant had found and ingested a loose pill of oxycodone dropped by his parents, who were dealing the substance. The child died. Judge Lasnik told LUGO that distributing this drug was extraordinarily dangerous.
According to records in the case, NICELY and LUGO worked with a third defendant, Jonathan Tavares to distribute oxycodone throughout the Everett area. Between March of 2009 and February 2010 an undercover agent and people working with law enforcement purchased oxycodone from members of the gang on thirteen different occasions. When law enforcement served search warrants on June 24, 2010, NICELY had two hand guns and oxycodone at his residence. LUGO also had a gun at his residence.
In asking for lengthy sentences for both men, prosecutors noted the increasing problem of prescription drug abuse. “Overdoses of oxycodone and other prescription opiates are a leading, and increasing, cause of death in King County. ... According to the report in 2000, there were 13 deaths from oxycodone overdoses. That number increases steadily over the next nine years, with 60 deaths attributable to oxycodone in 2009. Oxycodone was present (but not necessarily the sole cause) in 104 deaths in 2009, as opposed to just 26 in 2000,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.
The case was investigated by the ATF with the assistance of the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force which includes officers and agents from Bothell Police Department, Everett Police Department and Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi.