SEATTLE – Marisol Perez-Almonte, 28, of Renton, Washington, and Joan Luis Azamar-Sanchez , 31, of Seattle, Washington, were each sentenced to 10 year prison terms today in U.S. District Court in Seattle for conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Perez-Almonte was convicted by a jury in November 2010, following the five day trial. Azamar-Sanchez pled guilty on October 29, 2010. Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik imposed the mandatory minimum ten-year sentence on each defendant.
According to records filed in the case, law enforcement set up drug deals for both methamphetamine and cocaine with Azamar-Sanchez. In the course of the investigation, a third defendant, Ruben Ramirez-Ventura was identified as a Seattle area source for both the cocaine and methamphetamine. . Law enforcement gathered information that it was Ramirez-Ventura ’s common law wife, Perez-Almonte, who had the drug connection to the Sinoloa cartel. In February 2010, the couple made a trip to the Moreno Valley of Southern California, driving through the night. The next day they met at a motel with an unidentified man. Law enforcement agents had them under surveillance. They watched as the couple moved their Chevy Tahoe to a secluded part of the parking lot while Ramirez-Ventura worked on the rear passenger seat. Then the couple quickly began their drive north. Near Ashland, Oregon, the couple was pulled over for speeding. A drug detecting canine alerted to the car. After obtaining a warrant, investigators found six kilos of cocaine hidden in the rear passenger seat. Ruben Ramirez-Ventura , will be sentenced later this year.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Seattle Police Department, with assistance from the Oregon State Police.