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Press Release

Yakima Man Sentenced to Thirty Years Imprisonment for Soliciting Murder for Hire and Methamphetamine Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington

Yakima – Today, Joseph H. Harrington, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that United States District Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr. sentenced

Gerardo Maderos Loreto, age 32, of Yakima, Washington, to a thirty-year term of imprisonment for attempting to hire a person to murder his ex-girlfriend, and for attempting to pay for the murder with a pound of methamphetamine.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, in March, 2016, Loreto was serving a state prison sentence for violating a protective order relating to his ex-girlfriend. While in prison Loreto, who is a Norteno gang member, continued to violate the protective order by contacting his ex-girlfriend, more frequently after he learned that she was pregnant with another man’s child. Loreto’s intent towards his ex-girlfriend became more violent, and he attempted to hire someone to kill her. He mailed a letter to an individual from the state prison facility detailing the ex-girlfriend’s name, where to find her, and why he wanted her murdered. In the letter Loreto also explained that he would pay a pound of methamphetamine in return for the murder.

Detectives with the Yakima Police Department Gang Unit obtained the letter before any harm came to the ex-girlfriend. On July 12, 2016, a federal Indictment was filed charging Loreto with use of the mail to commit murder for hire. Loreto was arrested on this charge on the day he completed his state prison sentence. Following his arrest, Loreto was detained at the Yakima County Jail. While there, he continued to use his gang connections to try to hire someone to murder his ex-girlfriend. Law enforcement agents were again able to foil Loreto’s plans before any physical harm came to his ex-girlfriend. A superseding federal Indictment was filed on January 10, 2017, charging Loreto with use of the mail to commit murder for hire, use of a telephone to commit murder for hire, conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute, and attempt to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

On May 22, 2017, a trial commenced and on May 24, 2017, a jury found Loreto guilty of all the charges.

Joseph H. Harrington said, “The United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to ensuring the safety of our community and aggressively prosecuting perpetrators of violence against women. The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to seek lengthy sentences to remove dangerous gang members from our streets. In this case, the Yakima Police Department Gang Unit and Washington Department of Corrections worked together to identify the Loreto as a threat to public safety. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, and Yakima Police Department followed through with completing this important investigation in a thorough and professional manner.”

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Yakima Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, the Washington Department of Corrections, Yakima County Department of Corrections, and the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab. The case was prosecuted by Benjamin D. Seal, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

Updated August 28, 2017

Press Release Number: 16-CR-2047-SMJ