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Leader of cartel-connected drug trafficking organization sentenced to 11 years in prison

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A citizen of Mexico – who lived in Tukwila and was twice federally convicted of drug trafficking in Washington State – was sentenced this week in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 11 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to commit money laundering, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman.

Alan Gomez-Marentes, 38, of Los Angeles and Tukwila, was arrested in July 2020 following an 18-month investigation of an extensive drug trafficking organization, including in the South King County area. Gomez-Marentes ordered drug shipments and directed underlings to process drugs for distribution. He and his sister were involved in laundering the proceeds from the drug trafficking.

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At Gomez-Marentes’ sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said, the sentence he imposed was driven by the size of the drug trafficking ring, the amount of incredibly dangerous fentanyl it brought into the community and that this was Mr. Gomez-Marentes “second federal drug trafficking conviction.”

In total, the investigation into the conspiracy resulted in the seizure of 45 pounds of methamphetamine; 12 pounds of heroin; 3,200 fentanyl pills; 22 firearms; and $566,391.

On the wiretapped phone calls, agents heard Gomez-Marentes directing members of the organization to get new phones or pack up drug trafficking materials to avoid police scrutiny. He was heard asking members to obtain firearms and urging the beating of a drug trafficker who owed him money.

In 2005, Gomez-Marentes was convicted in Eastern Washington of distributing cocaine at Washington State University. He was sentenced to five years in prison and was deported. He was convicted in Mexico for another drug trafficking crime. While serving five years in a Mexican jail he began assisting drug dealers by translating drug deals with buyers in the U.S. He was released in Mexico in 2018 and illegally returned to Washington State in 2019.

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Describing Gomez-Marentes role in the drug organization, prosecutors wrote to the court:

“Alan Gomez-Marentes played a central leadership role in this highly successful organization for at least 10 months. He oversaw all aspects of drug trafficking: he orchestrated loads of drugs from Mexico; he managed the conversion of liquid methamphetamine to crystal methamphetamine; he directed numerous redistributors, providing them drugs for delivery and collecting cash drug proceeds; and he laundered tens of thousands of dollars.”

This is the final sentencing in this drug trafficking ring. The sentences for leaders and violent actors in the organization range from 17 years for Luis Magana-Ramirez, who was tied to violence and threats of violence, to ten and twelve years in prison for lower-level distributors who were caught with drugs and guns.

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“The Jalisco Cartel is a significant threat to our community and the sentences today show the seriousness of the crimes of their affiliates here in the South Sound,” said DEA Seattle Special Agent in Charge David F. Reames. “DEA appreciates the partnership of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our Federal, state, and local law enforcement partners as we close this investigation with a win for our community.”

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 conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Tacoma Resident Office in partnership with Tahoma Narcotics Enforcement Team (TNET), Kent Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, SeaTac Police Department, Thurston County Narcotics Team (TNT), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In addition, to the agencies listed above, these law enforcement agencies assisted in the investigation and/or with arrests and search warrants: DEA Seattle Special Response Team, Valley Narcotics Enforcement Team, Valley SWAT, Pierce County SWAT, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team, Bremerton Special Operations Group, King County SWAT, King County Sheriff’s Office Metro, Burien Police Department, Auburn Special Investigations Unit, FBI Seattle, FBI SWAT, FBI Portland Tactical and TNET, which is comprised of Tacoma, Lakewood, Auburn, Kent, Bonney Lake and Puyallup Police Departments, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Department of Corrections. The investigation was supported by the Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Amy Jaquette and Andy Colasurdo.

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