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Spokane – Joseph H. Harrington, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Aleandro Leon, age 24, of Pasco, Washington, was sentenced on June 30, 2021, after having pleaded guilty to: being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2); Conspiracy to Provide Prohibited Objects to an Inmate in Prison in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1791(a)(1), (a)(2), (b)(1), (b)(2) (b)(3), (b)4, and (c), all in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; and Inmate in Possession of a Prohibited Object, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1791(a)(2), (b)(1)(c). Chief United States District Judge Stanley Bastian sentenced Leon to a 160-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 5-year term of court supervision after he is released from prison.
According to information disclosed during court proceedings, Leon was under Department of Corrections supervision for a drive-by shooting conviction when he was indicted in three separate federal indictments, all involving separate criminal conduct from January 2019 until April 2020. Leon was identified as working within a criminal organization responsible for the distribution of thousands of deadly Fentanyl laced pills in early 2019. A partner of Leon, Miguel Candido' s apartment was searched in March of 2019 where 5000 Fentanyl laced pills, 1 pound of heroin, over $20,000 in US currency, drug ledgers, scales, and cell phones linking the two to a criminal organization were located. When Leon was arrested for those drug charges, he was unlawfully in possession of a loaded firearm. While in custody, Leon, a confirmed Florencia 13 gang member, became involved in a conspiracy to smuggle illegal contraband into the Benton County Jail with the assistance of a correctional officer. The illegal contraband included methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, and cell phones.
Leon pled guilty to two out of the three federal indictments. A contested sentencing hearing was held June 30, 2021, and Chief Bastian found that, shortly after Leon's release from state custody on the drive-by shooting conviction in November 2017, Leon immediately began new criminal conduct to include the distribution of large quantities of Fentanyl laced pills and heroin. Even after his arrest, this criminal conduct continued with the serious actions within the Benton County Jail. Chief Judge Bastian determined Leon posed a danger to the community and an extreme risk to re-offend given his significant criminal history and recidivist criminal behavior. Judge Bastian sentenced Leon to 100 months on the firearms offense and a consecutive 60 months on the contraband offense.
Acting United States Attorney Harrington said, “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington commends the law enforcement officers with the federal and local agencies who investigated this case. Their seamless partnership resulted in the successful outcome of this matter. The sentence imposed by the court removes a drug trafficker and violent offender from our streets and sends a clear message to others who may choose to engage in such criminal activity.”
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
This case was investigated by the DEA-Tri-Cities Task Force, METRO and Pasco Street Crimes Unit, United States Marshals Service, and Benton County Sheriff's Office. This case was prosecuted by Stephanie Van Marter, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.