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Justice News

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

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tacoma Resident who Hid Guns and Heroin Throughout Apartment Sentenced to over 10 Years in Prison

Defendant Distributed Heroin While Armed Resulting In Longer Prison Sentence

            A 28-year-old Tacoma man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 130 months in prison for Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Offense, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  ARNOLDO MENDOZA RAMOS is a Mexican national who likely will be deported following his prison term.  At the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton noted heroin is a resurgent problem in Western Washington and a threat to our communities.

            “Heroin is a growing public safety and public health problem,” said U. S. Attorney Jenny Durkan.  “We will hold the people dealing death accountable.”

            According to records filed in the case, on four occasions in September and October 2013, RAMOS, and his girlfriend Ana L. Gaytan Torres, 38, distributed heroin to a person working with law enforcement.  The heroin sales were made at various parking lots in Tacoma and Lakewood, Washington.  On October 24, 2013, law enforcement executed a search warrant at the couple’s Tacoma apartment.  They seized 2.4 pounds of heroin.  Some of the heroin was hidden in a freezer door, in a can marked as baby formula, in a macaroni and cheese box and in a tub of beans.  Inside an armrest of the couch law enforcement found two handguns and additional heroin packaged for sale.  In the bedroom closet agents found a shotgun that had been reported stolen in Port Orchard, Washington.  More than $18,000 in cash, eleven cell phones and small amounts of methamphetamine and cocaine were also found in the apartment.

            RAMOS pleaded guilty in June 2014.  Torres pleaded guilty in May 2014 and will be sentenced in October 2014.

            The use of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense carries a mandatory minimum additional consecutive five year sentence to the sentence imposed on the underlying drug offense.

            The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bremerton Police Department.

            The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Amy Jaquette and Grady Leupold.

Updated March 20, 2015