A former Amanda Park, Washington resident who operated a shingle mill as a cover for distributing methamphetamine was sentenced today to 10 years in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. Naur Sanchez, 35, was arrested in June 2012, following a lengthy investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the Tahoma Narcotic Enforcement Team, the Grays Harbor Drug Taskforce, and the Quinault Tribal Police. Naur Sanchez pleaded guilty in March 2013. At sentencing, United States District Judge Benjamin Settle described the methamphetamine that the defendant possessed as “poison” that quickly leads to addiction.
“These defendants, who have ties to Mexican cartels, sought to spread their poison and influence on tribal land and in our rural areas,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “I am grateful for the good work of the Quinault Nation Narcotics Enforcement Team and Grays Harbor Drug Task Force who were key partners with federal law enforcement in this prosecution.”
According to records filed in the case, in the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized multiple pounds of methamphetamine. Two members of the smuggling ring were arrested and indicted following their arrest in May 2012 with six kilograms of methamphetamine hidden in the spare tire of their car. The men were tracked to a drug lab in Stockton, California, and were arrested by police on their return trip to Washington.
When law enforcement raided the Stockton drug lab they seized more than 66 pounds of crystal meth, 88 pounds of liquid slush methamphetamine, and disassembled assault rifles packaged for transport to Mexico. When Naur Sanchez was arrested, investigators found four pounds of methamphetamine in a car associated with him. The meth was wrapped in cellophane and coated with grease in an attempt to hide it from police.
In asking for significant prison time, prosecutors noted that “even after being deported following his fourth drug conviction and a three year sentence, the defendant returned to the United States and became involved in this conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.”
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. Multiple local and federal law enforcement officers were involved in this DEA led investigation: Tahoma Narcotics Enforcement Team (TNET), Grays Harbor Drug Task Force (composed of the Hoquiam and Aberdeen Police Department and the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Department), Lakewood Police Department, Quinault Nation Narcotics Enforcement Team, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and FBI. Additionally, these agencies contributed: DEA Special Operations Division, DEA Modesto, Sacramento and Stanislaus, Clark-Vancouver Regional Drug Task Force, Homeland Security Investigation (HSI), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Centralia Police Department, and Customs and Border Patrol.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey Backhus, Marc Perez, and Matthew Thomas.