News Release
Date: February 28, 2012
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-1162

20 Years for Billy Flores in Major Washington State
Tribal Smoke Shops Narcotics Conspiracy Case

February 28 (Tacoma, WA) Billy Miranda Flores 42, of Puyallup, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 20 years in prison in connection with a major drug distribution conspiracy. In February 2011, Flores was convicted of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, three counts of distribution of oxycodone, possession of methadone with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime following a two week jury trial. The evidence at trial revealed that Flores was selling hundreds or even thousands of pills of oxycontin (oxycodone), along with methadone, each day.

Six people were arrested in October, 2009, following a lengthy investigation of prescription drug dealing from the Indian Smoke Shop on Puyallup Tribal Trust Land in Milton, Washington and the Lil Red Smoke Shop on Tribal Trust Land in Tacoma, Washington.

According to records filed in the case, the 18-month investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed that Flores not only sold large amounts of oxycontin from his smoke shop, he was also the principal supplier of oxycontin to other members of the conspiracy who then distributed it. Danny Lee Sherwood was a key co-conspirator who stored the drugs for Flores and sold them to others. Flores and Sherwood sold the OxyContin ranging from $35 to $70 per pill, giving discounts for high-volume purchases. Over the course of the investigation, Flores and Sherwood sold oxycontin to a DEA undercover agent and a confidential informant working with police. Agents seized over $50,000 in cash – the proceeds of the drug sales – when the search warrants were executed in October 2009. Flores was caught with hundreds of methadone pills, and Sherwood had hundreds of oxycodone pills in his car and a safe in his bedroom.

As for the other defendants in the case: Bill Celeya Flores, 60, of Tacoma, father of defendant Billy Miranda Flores was sentenced to 57 months in prison; Jay Timothy Morehead, 24, was sentenced to 18 months in prison; and Shelbie Ingham, 19, is serving a nine month prison sentence. Tiny Bean-Flores, 29, of Tacoma and Danny Sherwood are scheduled for sentencing March 6, 2012. The Puyallup Tribe has since bulldozed the Lil Red Smoke Shop and shut down the Indian Smoke Shop.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The lead investigative agencies on the case were the DEA and FBI, with assistance from a number of state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Fife, Milton, Puyallup, and Auburn Police Departments, the Tahoma Narcotics Enforcement Team, and the South Sound Gang Task Force, which includes the Tacoma and Lakewood Police Departments, and the Washington State Patrol and Department of Corrections.