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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Houston Man Handed Significant Federal Sentence For Cocaine Trafficking

HOUSTON - Michael Washington, 38, of Houston, has been handed a sentence of 151 months for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 8.9 kilograms of cocaine, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, Washington was convicted by a jury’s verdict of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting the possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. At the hearing today, U.S. District Judge Gray Miller sentenced Washington to 151 months on both counts of conviction to run concurrently. Washington was further ordered to serve five years of supervised release following completion of his prison term.

During the four-day trial, the jury heard testimony which proved that on June 10-11, 2010, Juan Manzanares supplied cocaine to other co-conspirators Roberto Medrano and Alberto Aguirre who subsequently sold the cocaine to Washington. After receiving one kilogram on June 10, Washington made arrangements to purchase five additional kilograms of cocaine the following day.

On June 11, Manzanares, providing the cocaine, rode with Medrano and Aguirre to Washington’s residence on the 9600 block of Kings Valley in Houston to deliver the cocaine. Unbeknownst to all involved, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had received information about a possible drug transaction and were monitoring the area. 

Surveillance units had established a visual on the house and agents witnessed Aguirre exit the vehicle and enter Washington’s residence. Inside, Washington received the cocaine from Aguirre and paid him approximately $113,000. Aguirre departed the residence carrying a black bag with the money, placed it into the vehicle and left. Surveillance then followed all three vehicles. 

Officials conducted a traffic stop on the Chevy, at which time they observed the black bag in the back seat with bundles of U.S. currency exposed. The amount of money recovered from the bag was approximately $113,899.

The co-defendants in the case were sentenced to terms ranging from 60-151 months in federal prison.

This matter was investigated by the DEA in conjunction with the Pasadena Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Stuart A. Burns and Bertram Isaacs prosecuted the case.

Updated April 30, 2015