News Release
Date: April 04, 2012
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-1162

Cocaine Connection Between
Canadian Gang and Sinaloa Cartel Sentenced

April 4- (Seattle, WA) – Mario Joseph Fenianos, 39, of Los Angeles, who helped coordinate an elaborate cocaine trafficking and transportation scheme involving the Sinaloa Cartel and a criminal drug distribution group in British Columbia, Canada, was sentenced March 30, 2012, to 13 years in prison and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Three other co-conspirators were sentenced on March 23, 2012. Jacob Burdick, 34, of Marysville, was sentenced to 12 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Michael Murphy, 62, and Pamela Marie Murphy, 58, of Penn Valley, California, were sentenced to 12 years in prison and 18 months in prison respectively. Fenianos’ co-schemer, Michael Dubois, will be sentenced next month.

Fenianos, a Canadian citizen, was arrested in April 2011 following a year-long investigation of a multi-national drug trafficking organization. The investigation was initiated in May 2010 by DEA and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  Agents identified, through the use of court authorized wire taps , that the group was transporting and distributing 1,000 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana and 100 to 200 kilos of cocaine every month. The marijuana was smuggled into the U.S. from Canada and distributed across the country to California, Illinois, Missouri, Georgia and New Jersey among other locations. Proceeds from the marijuana distribution were used to purchase cocaine in Southern California. The cocaine was transported to British Columbia for distribution. The smuggling organization had ties to members of the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang in British Columbia, Canada.

Fenianos worked directly for a violent organized crime group in Canada and was responsible for coordinating the purchase, distribution and transportation of the cocaine from Southern California. Ultimately, Fenianos was involved in arranging for hundreds of kilograms of cocaine that were smuggled into Canada. On April 8, 2011, Fenianos and a co-defendant provided 96 kilos of cocaine to someone they thought was a pilot who would fly it into Western Washington, where it would be later smuggled into Canada- in fact the pilot was an undercover DEA Agent.

Fenianos was arrested April 26, 2011, with 30 kilos of cocaine in his car. At his Los Angeles residence agents located one pound of crack cocaine, more than $100,000 in cash and a loaded semi-automatic Ruger. Over the course of the investigation, investigators seized more than $2 million and 136 kilograms of cocaine.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case was investigated by DEA Offices- Seattle, Chicago, Las Vegas, Fresno, Los Angeles and New Jersey; Homeland Security Investigations- Seattle and Sacramento; Customs and Border Protection- Office of Air & Marine; King County Sheriff’s Department; Seattle Police Department; Washington State Patrol; Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force; and the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement (California).