News Release
July 15, 2008
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-5443

Tacoma Man Sentenced to Ten Years in
"Operation Garage Sale"

JUL 15-- (Seattle) DEA Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Arnold R. Moorin and the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington, Jeffrey Sullivan, announced that Marciano Mendez-Maya was sentenced on July 11, 2008, to 10 years in prison for possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute. The investigation was dubbed “Operation Garage Sale” because some of the conspirators sold drugs from a garage.

On June 1, 2006, Mendez-Maya, 29 of Tacoma, Washington was charged, following a lengthy drug conspiracy investigation. According to court records, prosecutors described the role of Mendez-Maya as being the “spokes of the wheel” between the drug supplier at the center, and many distributors and customers. At the time search warrants were executed, Mendez-Maya was found to have in his home more than 1,100 grams of heroin and nearly 400 grams of cocaine. Additionally, law enforcement seized cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and $40,000 in cash hidden inside an oven. One of the arrested was Rosalva Villavicencio-Chavez’, who was eight months pregnant and was carrying a kilogram of cocaine underneath her clothing. To date, five others have been sentenced in this investigation and have received sentences ranging from 3 years to 10 years.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington State Patrol, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, Tacoma Police Department, and the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force.