News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Brothers Who Led Heroin And Meth Distribution Ring Sentenced To Long Prison Terms

Firearms, Drugs and Cash Seized from Sinaloa Linked Drug Smuggling Ring

September 7, 2012

            Two brothers who, with other fugitive brothers, led a Mexico based drug smuggling and distribution ring were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to over a decade in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  One of the ring leaders, ORLANDO OLAIS ROCHA, 32, of Lynnwood, Washington was sentenced to 17 years in prison.  His younger brother, the second in command of the Washington State part of the ring, EVERARDO OLAIS ROCHA, 28, also of Lynnwood, was sentenced to 14 years in prison.  Both men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, specifically methamphetamine and heroin, and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.  ORLANDO OLAIS ROCHA also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.  That crime carries a mandatory minimum five year sentence to run consecutive to any other sentence.  At sentencing U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones said, “This was a sophisticated operation regarding large amounts of drugs and firearms.”

            “These brothers, and other family members, led a group trafficking large quantities of extremely pure and deadly heroin and methamphetamine,’ said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  “These drugs not only destroy lives, families and communities, they are part of a culture of violence impacting both the U.S. and Mexico.  At every location the conspirators controlled in Washington, Arizona and Alabama, they had drugs and firearms with very dangerous, high caliber ammunition.”

            The investigation of the OLAIS ROCHA organization began in 2009, through the efforts of the South Snohomish County Narcotics Task Force (SSCNTF).  Between January and June 2011, DEA partnered with SSCNTF, on a court authorized wiretap of cell phones used by the ring providing insights into the flow of drugs and cash, and the violence that is part and parcel of the drug trade.  Members smuggled drugs across the border from Mexico, to a stash house in Arizona.  Drugs and cash were packed in special compartments of vehicles or in voids within the frame of the vehicle.  Some loads were packed in the void beneath the bed of a pick-up truck.  The drugs were then transported to the Seattle area, and elsewhere, for distribution.

“This investigation is another example of DEA's global reach in stopping violent drug trafficking organizations that endanger our communities and threaten our children’s future,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Matthew G. Barnes.  “The prison sentences of these two violent offenders are a direct result of the coordination and cooperation of our law enforcement and intelligence partnerships.”

When officers and agents moved in to make arrests in June 2011, law enforcement seized 8 lbs. of crystal methamphetamine, 7 pounds of heroin, more than $174,000 in cash, 9 firearms and ten cars.

            In all, 15 members of the drug conspiracy have now been sentenced.  These two leaders of the ring are forfeiting more than $65,000 in cash and eight firearms including an AK-47 rifle.  Both men are Mexican citizens who will be deported following their prison terms.

            “The conviction and sentencing of these drug traffickers is the result of the unseen work of dedicated South Snohomish County Narcotics Task Force detectives, Drug Enforcement Administration special agents and support personnel, who work tirelessly to stem the flow of illegal drugs onto the streets of our communities.  These complex and labor intensive investigations are only made possible through these continued partnerships,” said Commander Jim Nelson of the South Snohomish County Narcotics Task Force.

            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 led by South Snohomish County Narcotics Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sarah Vogel.Return to Top

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