Transnational Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 26 Years in Federal Prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl, Heroin, Methamphetamine, Cocaine and for Money Laundering
Leader/Organizer of Cell with the Sinaloa Cartel Sentenced in Federal Court
Spokane – Joseph H. Harrington, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Reynaldo Perez Munoz, age 41, of Pasco, Washington, was sentenced after having pleaded guilty on August 28, 2020, to Conspiracy to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Actual (Pure) Methamphetamine, 5 Kilograms or More of Cocaine and 1 Kilogram or More of Heroin, two counts of Money Laundering, and Possession with Intent to Distribute 400 Grams or more of Fentanyl. Senior United States District Judge Edward F. Shea sentenced Reynaldo Perez Munoz to a 26-year term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 7-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison. Pursuant to forfeiture proceedings, no additional fine was imposed.
According to information disclosed during court proceedings, this case arose from a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Task Force investigation in Southern California. The Task Force identified a transnational drug trafficking organization (DTO) and worked in an undercover capacity to identify the DTO’s money laundering activities and locations in the United States where the DTO was trafficking narcotics. Munoz, and other co-conspirators were identified by the FBI as members of the DTO.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force in Tri-Cities Washington executed several search warrants and seized over 19,000 Fentanyl-laced pills, 40 pounds of heroin, 4 pounds of methamphetamine, 23 pounds of cocaine, and $170,000 in U.S. currency. They found items consistent with packaging large amounts of U.S. currency, multiple firearms, multiple identifications, and other indicia of drug trafficking. In terms of the significance of this drug trafficking organization to which he played a role, the cash money drops further corroborate that in less than one month, this organization was able to hand deliver over $1.25 million in drug cash proceeds. This case involved one of the single largest drug seizures in the Eastern District of Washington. It also involved one of the largest Fentanyl pill seizures at the time.
During court proceedings, it was disclosed that FBI cryptoanalysis analyzed drug ledgers seized from Munoz and determined they reflected an additional $6 million collected in drug cash proceeds and several hundred kilograms of controlled substances to include fentanyl laced pills.
Senior District Judge Shea found that Munoz was the leader organizer of a cell with the Sinaloa Cartel in the Eastern District of Washington. As a leader of the cell operating here, Munoz was responsible for coordinating drug shipments and collecting large amounts of drug cash proceeds that would be sent back to cartel leaders in Mexico.
Acting United States Attorney Harrington said, “This case highlights the joint commitment, dedication, and partnership between our state and federal partners in combatting drug trafficking in our community. I commend their outstanding work. This investigation made a substantial mark upon a large-scale organization that had chosen Eastern Washington as a point of operation. It is these types of investigations that bring into focus the dangers drug trafficking organizations pose to our community.”
"In just a short period of time, Munoz and his co-conspirators coordinated vast shipments of drugs and cash across state and international borders," said Donald M. Voiret, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Seattle Field Office. "Removing these dangerous drugs from Washington state will no doubt save lives and families from the pain of addiction. This sentence reflects the severity of Munoz's actions, and he will have decades in prison to consider the impact of his decisions."
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 case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force in Tri-Cities Washington, Cross Border Violence Task Force (CBVTF) in San Diego CA, Kennewick Police Department, Richland Police Department, Pasco Police Department, Benton County Sheriff’s Office, and Washington Department of Corrections. This case was prosecuted by Stephanie Van Marter, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.