News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Second In Command Of Prolific Drug Trafficking Ring Gets Long Prison Term

Defendant with Significant Criminal History, Including Vehicular Homicide

June 15, 2012

A repeat offender who was a key player in a significant drug trafficking ring was sentenced today to 11 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  RUBEN CAMACHO-CONTRERAS, 40, a Mexican citizen, was the right hand man to drug trafficker Drew Yim.  Yim was sentenced in May 2012 to 15 years in prison.  CAMACHO-CONTRERAS was arrested along with other members of the conspiracy in May 2011.  At sentencing Chief U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman said CAMACHO-CONTRERAS would likely be deported following his prison term.  “Don’t waste your life trying to come across the border again,” Judge Pechman told him.

According to various filings in the case, the drug organization smuggled and transported shipments of cocaine and methamphetamine from California into Washington and across the border into Canada.  CAMACHO-CONTRERAS was directly involved with transportation of more than 25 kilograms of cocaine.  In June of 2010, a 19 kilo load of cocaine was to be transported to Canada.  In March and May 2011, two more cocaine loads totaling 36 kilos were transported into Canada.  Canadian authorities seized some of the cocaine.  The organization also directed the importation and distribution of MDMA (ecstacy) and BC Bud from Canada into Western Washington and then to other destinations across the U.S. over five months in 2010, the organization arranged for more than 700 pounds of marijuana to be transported into the U.S. in six different loads.

CAMACHO-CONTRERAS has prior convictions for Interstate Travel in Aid of Racketeering (ITAR - 2001) and Rendering Criminal Assistance (1997), and vehicular homicide (2000).

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved.
The investigation was lead by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Seattle Police Department with assistance from Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HIS).

            The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Roger Rogoff, Jerrod Patterson, and Richard Cohen.


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