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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 19, 2016

Mexican National Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Trying to Smuggle 20 Pounds of Cociane Into Canada

Spokane – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that that Hever Guzman Guerrero, a citizen of Mexico, age 28, was sentenced after having previously plead guilty to possession with the intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, a ten-year mandatory minimum federal offense. United States District Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson sentenced Guzman Guerrero to a 10 year term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 5-year term of court supervision upon his deportation when released from federal prison, thereby prohibiting him from returning to the United States.

According to the information disclosed during court proceedings, Guzman Guerrero was under investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and Border Patrol in Wenatchee Washington for his involvement in cross-border drug smuggling activities. On September 2, 2015, he was caught near Oroville, Washington attempting to cross the U.S. / Canadian on foot. After hiding from law enforcement officers for over three hours in rugged terrain, Guzman Guerrero was located and in possession of a backpack containing over 20 pounds of cocaine. The approximate value of the drugs was well over $250,000. Although Guzman Guerrero was eligible for relief from the mandatory ten-year term of imprisonment, the Court found that he failed to be truthful with both the Court and law enforcement authorities and, therefore, the Court denied any such relief.

Michael C. Ormsby said, “This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. The OCDETF program provides supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved in the investigation of drug-related crimes. I commend the Homeland Security Investigation and Border Patrol agents in the Spokane and Seattle Divisions who diligently worked this OCDETF case. Protecting the integrity of the United States’ borders is of utmost importance to the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Washington.”

The investigation was conducted by the Homeland Security Investigation and Border Patrol agents in the Spokane and Seattle Divisions. This case was prosecuted by Stephanie Van Marter, an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

Press Release Number: 
15-CR-0096-RMP
Updated August 24, 2016