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Cartel Connected Leader of Large Drug Distribution Ring Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison

MAR 21 (SEATTLE, Wash.) – Enrique Aguiliar Valencia, the leader of a drug trafficking organization, who admits his connection to the Los Zetas drug cartel was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 12 years in prison.  Valencia, 55, who resided in Fremont, California, led a drug distribution ring that distributed large amounts of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine throughout western Washington.  Much of the distribution was via stash houses in Skagit and Snohomish Counties.  At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said he was concerned about the very large quantities of drugs and the guns involved in the case.

According to records filed in the case, Valencia is the last of six defendants prosecuted as part of this drug distribution ring.  In March, April and May 2015, law enforcement purchased heroin and methamphetamine from various distributors in the conspiracy.  During the investigation, Valencia was recorded discussing his ability to provide large amounts of drugs for distribution in the U.S. and Canada.  Members of the drug conspiracy laundered drug proceeds though bank accounts controlled by  Valencia.  While Valencia resided in California, he controlled stash houses for his drugs, guns and money in Mt. Vernon, Bow, and Stanwood, Washington.  

Valencia had no legal status in the United States, and had prior convictions for kidnapping, rape, assault with a deadly weapon (California 1986), lewd acts with a child and failure to register as a sex offender (California 2008), and illegal reentry after deportation (California 2011).

Valencia was arrested when law enforcement moved in on the ring in June 2015.  Law enforcement seized from his various stash houses a total of over 30 pounds of meth and heroin and numerous firearms, including one with a silencer.  At his home in California, agents seized nearly $32,000 in cash.

On November 23, 2016, Valencia pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to launder money.

The other defendants in the case and their sentences include: Gustavo Garcia-Valencia (five years); Juan Diego Vasquez-Cardenas (three years); Rafael Marin-Macias (eight years); Guadalupe Farias-Savala (four years) and Efran Villalobos-Gonzalez (five years).

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved.  The investigation was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in cooperation with the Skagit County Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit and the Whatcom Gang and Drug Task Force. 


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