- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 18, 2022

A trafficker of fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamines throughout Washington state’s Puget Sound region was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison, federal prosecutors said.

The Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington said Rodrigo Alvarez-Quinonez, 31, of Selma, California, was sentenced after being found guilty of several drug trafficking charges during a jury trial in June.

Alvarez-Quinonez was one of 12 people arrested in August 2020 as a part of a year-long wiretap investigation. 

Federal prosecutors said he was heard on wiretaps directing others to pick and deliver drugs. The members of the drug trafficking ring carried out activities from Mexico, through California, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon, and into the North Puget Sound region. 

According to the U.S. attorney’s office, law enforcement officials seized several pounds of methamphetamine and heroin, 7,500 pills likely tainted with fentanyl, more than $100,000 in cash, four firearms and vehicles outfitted with hiding places for drugs and money during the arrests two years ago. 

Prosecutors also said Alvarez-Quinonez trafficked cocaine into the region. 

“Mr. Alvarez-Quinonez was ordering up large drug shipments for distribution in our community,” U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said in a release. 

“His control of large amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine make his activities dangerous for those sickened with addiction and for their loved ones,” Mr. Brown said. “This case should serve as an example that under federal law, those working with drug cartels will face significant prison sentences.”

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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