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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 15, 2019

Tri-Cities Repeat Offender Sentenced to More Than 15 Years in Federal Prison for Drug Trafficking

Spokane – Joseph H. Harrington, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Antonio Faustino Deleon, age 31, from the Tri-Cities Washington area, was sentenced, after having pleaded guilty to Possessing with Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Pure Methamphetamine. United States District Judge Salvador Mendoza Jr. sentenced Deleon to a 188-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 5-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, Deleon was contacted on March 29, 2018 by the Kennewick Police Department’s Criminal Apprehension Team (“CAT”) after they received a report of a suspicious vehicle in a parking lot. CAT Detectives immediately recognized Deleon as an occupant of the vehicle based on multiple previous encounters, to include a recent encounter where Deleon pulled a knife on a law enforcement officer. CAT Detectives knew there was an active warrant for Deleon’s arrest. Upon announcing themselves as police officers, Deleon and two other occupants of the vehicle made multiple furtive movements, and continued to do so contrary to multiple police commands. Eventually, the three occupants were removed from the vehicle without incident. CAT Detectives observed in plain view a large amount of methamphetamine on the floorboard of the vehicle. A search of the vehicle revealed an additional quantity of methamphetamine and heroin, weighing approximately one kilogram, in a backpack that contained Deleon’s identification. Deleon is a known long-term affiliate with the Sureno criminal street gang, and he is known by the moniker “Peanut.” Deleon’s history reveals at least thirty-one prior criminal cases. CAT Detectives referred the case to the FBI Safe Streets Task Force for federal prosecution.

During sentencing, Judge Mendoza noted Deleon’s significant criminal history, committing “crime after crime,” and that the public needed to be protected from Deleon’s future criminal activities.

Joseph H. Harrington said, “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington commends the law enforcement officers with the Kennewick Police Department and the FBI 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 from our streets and sends a clear message to others who may choose to engage in such criminal activity.”

This case was prosecuted under the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program. PSN is a federal, state, and local law enforcement collaboration to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals responsible for violent crimes in our neighborhoods. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement to specifically identify the criminals responsible for violent crime in the Eastern District of Washington and pursue criminal prosecution.

This case was investigated by the Kennewick Police Department in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force, which is comprised of officers from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Kennewick Police Department, Pasco Police Department, Richland Police Department, and Washington Department of Corrections. This case was prosecuted by Caitlin Baunsgard, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 
4:18-CR-6025-SMJ
Updated April 15, 2019