Drug Enforcement Administration

Washington, DC

Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge

October 07, 2005

Contact: Public Information Officer

Phone Number: (202) 305-8426

Four Harrisonburg Area Drug Dealers Indicted

OCT 7 --Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s Washington Division Shawn A. Johnson announced the return of two indictments targeting Harrisonburg area methamphetamine and cocaine dealers in the Western District of Virginia.

Anthony Augusta Smith, age 31, and Tony Lorenzo Smith, age 40, are charged with conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base, and multiple counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base.

The charges stem from an investigation by the DEA Winchester Post of Duty, the RUSH Task Force, the Augusta County Sheriff’s Department, and ATFE, that started in July 2005, when an informant bought crack cocaine from Anthony Smith and his brother Tony at both of their apartments.

Anthony Smith faces a sentence ranging from 25 years to life in prison and up to $17 million in fines. Tony Smith faces 15-80 years in prison and up to $10 million in fines.

In a separate indictment, Jose Israel Gutierrez-Palacios, age 29, of Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Primitivo Palacios-Sanchez, age 49, have been charged with conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and cocaine. Palacios-Sanchez has also been charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Both men face a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. Palacios-Sanchez faces up to a $5 million fine; Gutierrez-Palacios faces up to a $4 million fine.

The investigation started in June 2005, and ended on August 25, 2005, when both Palacios-Sanchez and Gutierrez-Palacios were arrested after just having picked up drugs from an abandoned trailer which was being used as a “stash house”. Inside the trailer, police recovered large amounts of methamphetamine and some cocaine. Both Palacios-Sanchez and Gutierrez-Palacios are illegal aliens.

Both investigations were conducted by the RUSH Task Force, which includes the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office, Harrisonburg Police Department, and Virginia State Police, as well as the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office, DEA, and the ATFE.

Assistant United States Attorney Craig “Jake” Jacobsen will prosecute the cases.

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