News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Prolific Drug Trafficker Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison

Defendant Sold Meth to Undercover Police Officer, Arrested with Four Kilos of Heroin

April 13, 2012

            A Mexican National who had been previously convicted and deported for drug trafficking, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute heroin.   JUVENAL SANCHEZ-ISLAS, 33, of Centralia, Washington, pleaded guilty in the midst of trial in November 2011.  At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said, “He is a big time drug dealer who unleashed a lot of terribly dangerous drugs on the community over a long period of time.”

            JUVENAL SANCHEZ-ISLAS, came to the attention of law enforcement as the source of supply to other drug traffickers previously prosecuted in the Western District of Washington. In February 2010, SANCHEZ-ISLAS provided methamphetamine that was later sold to an undercover Seattle Police Officer outside an Azteca restaurant in South King County.  Later that month, law enforcement arrested SANCHEZ-ISLAS and another man outside a South King County apartment associated with SANCHEZ-ISLAS.  The pair had four kilos of heroin with them, and inside the apartment, law enforcement found significant amounts of both cocaine and methamphetamine.  A search of the apartment and SANCHEZ-ISLAS Centralia home turned up a firearm and ammunition bearing his fingerprints.

            Other defendants associated with this investigation have already been convicted and sentenced.  In February 2011, Marisol Perez-Almonte, 28, of Renton, Washington, and Joan Luis Azamar-Sanchez, 31, of Seattle, Washington, were each sentenced to 10 year prison terms.  In May 2011, Ruben  Ramirez-Ventura, 26, of Renton, Washington was also sentenced to a ten year term.

            In asking for a 17 year sentence, prosecutors noted that SANCHEZ-ISLAS had attempted to obstruct justice by pressuring those who might testify at trial.  SANCHEZ-ISLAS is “a career drug trafficker who had easy access to large amounts of narcotics, cash, and firearms.  Not only was Defendant able to procure 120 grams of methamphetamine for Azamar-Sanchez on just a few hours’ notice, but he was arrested just two weeks later in the presence of a significant amount of heroin worth approximately $160,000, trying to enter an apartment that contained even more methamphetamine, as well as 700 grams of cocaine worth approximately $42,000,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.

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 the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Seattle Police Department, with assistance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

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




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