March 16, 2017
Contact: Casey Rettig
Phone Number: (415) 436-7900
Sacramento Area Drug Trafficker Sentenced To 34 Years In Prison
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced Isreal “Puck” Washington, 43, of Sacramento, today to 34 years in prison for trafficking heroin, cocaine, cocaine base, and methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert and San Francisco Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge John J. Martin announced jointly.
According to court documents and evidence presented in July 9, 2015, at a five-day trial, Washington and oversaw the distribution of thousands of doses of crack cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine between 2006 and 2013 in Sacramento. Washington used various businesses as a front to conceal and disguise his extensive drug trafficking and operated a large “crew” of gang members as his drug distribution organization. During an investigation in 2010 and 2011, one of Washington’s businesses, Wet Ways Auto Body and Paint Shop, was identified as a place where Washington and his associates conducted drug deals.
In 2012, an undercover operative bought heroin and methamphetamine from Washington’s organization. The drug traffickers operating under Washington included co‑defendants Deyonte Spears, 29, of Oakland, and Sacramento residents Tyrone Weathersby, 48; Anthony Joaquin Sanchez, 32; and Myron Meadows, 45. On May 21, 2013, DEA agents served search warrants at two Sacramento-area stash pads controlled by Washington. Agents seized a stolen firearm and more than three pounds of heroin at stash pads maintained by the group.
U.S. Attorney Talbert stated: “Washington oversaw an extensive drug trafficking operation for several years and is responsible for the distribution of large amounts of dangerous drugs into our community. That conduct has devastating effects on the lives of those who abuse such drugs, their family members, and the community as a whole. The sentence handed down today appropriately reflects the seriousness of Washington's crime and the harm he caused. I want to thank the DEA, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, the Sacramento Police Department, the Vallejo Police Department, and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, whose hard work made this prosecution possible.”
“Motivated by greed and power, Washington led a gang-affiliated drug trafficking ring concealing criminal activity through a variety of his businesses,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Martin. “This type of behavior terrorizes a community and rips at its sense of security. Washington’s 34-year sentence pays a debt to society that he clearly owes.”
Co‑defendant Spears was sentenced on July 16, 2015, to 10 years in prison; co‑defendant Weathersby was sentenced to 18 months in prison on October 24, 2014; co‑defendant Sanchez was sentenced on December 17, 2015, to five years and 10 months in prison; and co‑defendant Meadows was sentenced on September 10, 2015, to three years in prison.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, the Sacramento Police Department, the Vallejo Police Department, and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason Hitt and Jill M. Thomas prosecuted the case.
This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF) program that was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.
When prosecuted in federal court, drug traffickers typically receive much harsher sentences. In addition to the longer sentences imposed, unlike state court prisoners who are released early on parole, there is no early release on parole in the federal system.