News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Defendant was Arrested Driving Up I-5 with 6 Kilos of Cocaine in a Hidden Compartment

May 13, 2011

RUBEN RAMIREZ-VENTURA, 26, of Renton, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to ten years in prison and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute cocaine. RAMIREZ-VENTURA is the last of three defendants sentenced to ten year terms following a drug trafficking investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Seattle Police Department. RUBEN RAMIREZ-VENTURA was convicted by a jury in November 2010, following the five day trial. Marisol Perez-Almonte, 28, of Renton, Washington, and Joan Luis Azamar-Sanchez, 31, of Seattle, Washington were both sentenced in February 2011. Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik imposed the mandatory minimum sentence.

According to records filed in the case, an undercover police officer set up drug deals for both methamphetamine and cocaine with Azamar-Sanchez. In the course of the investigation, RUBEN RAMIREZ-VENTURA was identified by law enforcement as a source of both the cocaine and methamphetamine in the Seattle area. A Seattle detective gathered information that it was RAMIREZ-VENTURA’s common law wife, Perez-Almonte, that had the drug connection to the Sinoloa cartel. In February 2010, the couple made a trip to the Moreno Valley of Southern California, driving 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 worked on the rear passenger seat. 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 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.

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


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