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Justice News

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

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Monroe Resident Sentenced to Long Prison Term

Repeat Offender Trafficked Meth And Counterfeited Currency

            A Monroe, Washington man with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to nine years in prison and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and counterfeiting, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  CHRISTOPHER FRICK, 38, is one of 34 people indicted in a drug trafficking conspiracy involving significant quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, and firearms, including military-style assault rifles and sniper rifles which were bound for Mexico.  FRICK bought and sold meth from other co-conspirators and “washed” and passed counterfeit bills in the Monroe area.  U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik imposed the sentence.

According to records filed in the case, the investigation of the Berrelleza-Verduzco Drug Trafficking Organization began in 2011, and FRICK was heard on the court authorized wiretap, arranging drug deals.  FRICK was ordering meth from the group, even as he was being fitted with a GPS ankle bracelet by an Everett bail bondsman.  FRICK was also under investigation by the U.S. Secret Service for “washing” a $5 bill and reprinting it as a $50 bill and using the bill at a Monroe convenience store.  On March 29, 2012, FRICK’s residence was searched as part of the takedown of the drug trafficking ring.  Law enforcement recovered both methamphetamine and counterfeit bills at his home.  In the course of the investigation law enforcement seized more than 20 pounds of heroin, more than 30 pounds of methamphetamine, more than $190,000 in cash and 31 firearms – including 10 assault style rifles.

FRICK has 31 prior convictions including burglary, escape, drug possession, various theft offenses, vehicle theft and forgery/fraud crimes.  FRICK has a prior federal felony conviction related to mail theft in 1996.  Following his federal sentence FRICK had additional arrests and convictions for methamphetamine possession and forgery.  Prosecutors requested that Judge Lasnik recommend drug treatment for FRICK while serving his prison sentence.

            FRICK is one of the first defendants in this case to plead guilty and be sentenced.  Others are scheduled for trial later this year.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigations, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved.  The investigation was led jointly by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigation and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and the Snohomish Police Department.  Additional participating agencies: Lake Stevens Police Department, Eastside Narcotics Task Force, Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force, Skagit County Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit, Everett Police Department, Monroe Police Department, Marysville Police Department, Seattle Police Department, Snohomish County Police Department, Washington State Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Offices of Field Operations and Border Patrol.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Vince Lombardi, Nicholas Brown, and J. Tate London.

Updated March 24, 2015