The last defendant in a 19-member drug distribution ring has been sentenced to 121 months in federal prison.
The Mexico-based ring was responsible for distributing substantial quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine in the Spokane area in 2004 and 2005, said U.S. Attorney Jim McDevitt.
When one of the ring’s couriers would be arrested, that drug runner would quickly be replaced by another – leading federal authorities to dub the investigation “Operation Replacement.”
The drugs, smuggled into the United States from Mexico, would travel to California then the Tri-Cities before being sold in parking lots of fast-food restaurants, supermarkets and motels in the Spokane area, McDevitt said.
A Drug Enforcement Administration task force observed 10 to 15 nightly drug deliveries and used an undercover agent to make purchases, the federal prosecutor said.
“The DEA estimated that in excess of 33 pounds of methamphetamine and 5 to 15 kilograms of cocaine were distributed in Spokane by this organization during the nightly parking lot transactions,” McDevitt said.
One of the couriers for the operation, Guillermo Lopez-Morales, 24, of Payette, Idaho, was sentenced last week to 121 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Whaley.
Previously sentenced were the three ringleaders, identified by authorities as Jose Luis Carrillo-Mendez, 24, a Mexican citizen who received 186 months; Carlos Santos, a 33-year-old resident of Honduras who received 135 months; and Mario Garcia-Cebreros, of Mexico, sentenced to 126 months.
Other defendants and their sentences: Christopher Pardun, 47, Spokane, 180 months; Hilario Lopez-Salas, 25, Mexico, 168 months; Billy Joe Thompson, 28, Spokane, 140 months; Varsel Michael Jarnagin, 29, Coeur d’Alene, 96 months; Todd Stamps, 39, Spokane, 84 months; Patrick S. Davis, 34, Spokane, 70 months; Gerald Fennen, 49, Spokane, 70 months; Shad Burnett St. Paul, 35, Spokane, 60 months.
Also sentenced: John Woollett, 66, Spokane, 60 months; Eli Stover, 34, Spokane, 37 months; Gilberto Valencia-Toscano, 24, Spokane, 37 months; Georgena Patrick, 40, Spokane, 34 months; Jamie Boulet, 38, Spokane, 30 months; Howard Kanitz, 61, Spokane, 30 months; and Serena Dunn, 28, Spokane, 6 months.
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