News Release
July 14, 2009
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-5443

Tacoma Man Sentenced to 13 Years in Largest Ever Heroin Bust
Over 48 Pounds of Heroin Seized in Tacoma Home

JUL 14 -- (Seattle) –– Alfonso Ibanez-Martinez, aka Alejandro Barragan Lopez, 32, of Tacoma, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 13 years in prison and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute heroin, distribution of heroin, and possession of heroin with intent to distribute. Ibanez-Martinez was convicted on March 6, 2009, following a three-day jury trial.

During January and February 2007, Ibanez-Martinez provided drugs to a co-conspirator who then sold the drugs to law enforcement. On March 1, 2007, Ibanez-Martinez was arrested at the scene of his fourth drug sale. Subsequently, law enforcement searched Ibanez-Martinez’ home and car and located more than 46 pounds of heroin in plain view, within plumbing fixtures and inside secret compartments. Inside the home officers found packaging materials and scales used in the drug trade. The amount of heroin seized in this case surpassed any previous case in Tacoma.

Following Ibanez-Martinez’ conviction, investigators learned that in 1998 he had been convicted under a different name in Pierce County Superior Court for drug trafficking. Had prosecutors known of this conviction prior to trial, Ibanez-Martinez would have faced a 20 year mandatory minimum sentence. Both U.S. Probation and Special Assistant United States Attorney Doug Hill recommended a 20-year prison term.

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