U.S. Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref Honored by Washington Women Lawyers for “Passing the Torch” and Going “Above and Beyond” to Mentor Women Lawyers
Spokane – Joseph H. Harrington, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Josue Medina-Perez, age 24 and Francisco Delgado, age 35, both from Phoenix, Arizona, were sentenced March 17, 2021, after admitting to being members of a drug trafficking organization responsible for trafficking Fentanyl-laced pills into the Eastern District of Washington. They each pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute 400 grams or more of Fentanyl. Senior United States District Judge Edward Shea sentenced Josue Medina to a 96-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 5-year term of court supervision after release from federal prison and Francisco Delgado to a 10-year term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 4-year term of court supervision after release from federal prison.
According to information disclosed during court proceedings, Medina-Perez and Delgado were identified as members of a drug trafficking organization tied directly to Sinaloa Mexico, operating in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Medina-Perez and Delgado were identified as one of the first major sources of Fentanyl-laced pills in Eastern Washington and were responsible for transporting and distributing more than 5,000 to 10,000 pills per week beginning in 2017. These Fentanyl-laced pills are made to appear to be prescription medication. Fentanyl, an extremely potent opioid, is largely responsible for the marked increase in drug overdoses and deaths in Eastern Washington. As Judge Shea noted during the sentencing hearing, Fentanyl is the most dangerous and insidious drug facing our community today and, based upon the quantity of pills sold by Medina-Perez and Delgado and their negative impact on this community, these lengthy sentences were appropriate.
Joseph H. Harrington said, “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington will aggressively prosecute cases involving fentanyl distribution, and the sentence imposed in this case demonstrates that fentanyl dealers will be held accountable for their illegal conduct. I commend the outstanding investigative work of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners.”
Today’s enforcement action is 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. This OCDETF investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
This case was investigated by the Spokane Resident Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration in partnership with the Kennewick, Pasco and Richland Police Departments. This case was prosecuted by Stephanie Van Marter, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.