15 Years in Federal Prison for Meth Trafficking and Child Exploitation
SPOKANE, Wash. – On June 3, 2022, United States District Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr., sentenced Lorenzo Jimenez Alanis, 47, of Mabton, Washington, to 15 years in federal prison for distributing methamphetamine, along with downloading and possessing a large collection of child pornography. Judge Mendoza also ordered Alanis to serve five years of federal supervision after he is released from prison, although under current U.S. law, it is likely that Alanis will be removed from the United States after his release from custody. Alanis pleaded guilty earlier this year.
According to information disclosed in court documents and during proceedings, Alanis was a source of supply for pound level quantities of methamphetamine associated with a drug trafficking organization operating directly out of Mexico. Alanis was arrested in a DEA Tri-Cities operation while he was delivering four pounds of methamphetamine. A search warrant was executed at his home and additional quantities of methamphetamine, multiple firearms and indicia of drug trafficking were also seized. When Alanis was arrested, officers searched his cellular telephone and discovered thousands of images and videos of children being sexually abused, tortured, and violated. Troublingly, Alanis’ collection included images and videos depicting prepubescent children who were the same age as his own children and younger. Alanis came to the United States unlawfully in 1992, when he was approximately 17-18 years of age, and has lived in the lower Yakima Valley since then.
“Mr. Alanis used his direct connections with a Mexican drug trafficking organization to supply methamphetamine in Eastern Washington, and even more disturbing, possessed large amounts of child pornography,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Jacob D. Galvan, DEA Seattle Field Division. “The DEA, with its federal, state, and local partners, will relentlessly pursue individuals who seek to harm and exploit vulnerable individuals, especially children.”
“The wide scope of Mr. Alanis’ criminal conduct is staggering. This case involved both large-scale methamphetamine dealing as well as downloading and collecting thousands of crime scene photos of minors being sexually abused,” said Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. “I commend the seamless communication and collaboration in this case between DEA, Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Investigations, the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force in Richland, and our state and local partners—what began as a drug case concluded with a child exploitation offender behind bars for 15 years. Whether it is illegal drugs or illicit images of children, law enforcement in the Eastern District will continue to seek out, investigate, and prosecute criminal conduct to keep the communities of Eastern Washington safe and strong.”
“Mr. Alanis represented a triple threat to our community through his trove of videos depicting violent sexual abuse of children, distribution of methamphetamine, and firearms possession,” said Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest. “I applaud the work of our federal and state law enforcement partners in Eastern Washington to address these critical threats and ensure that criminals like Mr. Alanis are brought to justice.”
This case was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
This case was also part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
This case was investigated by DEA Seattle Field Division, Tri-Cities Resident Office, United States Customs and Border Protection, METRO Drug Task Force, the Kennewick, Richland, West Richland, and Pasco Police Departments, Homeland Security Investigations, Tri-Cities Resident Office, and the ICAC Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Stephanie A. Van Marter, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.