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Sinoloa Cartel member sentenced

Pasco man identified as leader in drug, money laundering operation

PASCO — A Sinaloa drug cartel member from Pasco has been sentenced on a number of trafficking and money laundering charges.

Reynaldo Perez Munoz, 41, was sentenced April 21 by U.S. District Court Senior Judge Edward F. Shea to 26 years in prison and 7 years of probation after release.

The sentence follows Munoz's Aug. 28, 2020, guilty plea to charges of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of actual (pure) methamphetamine, 5 kg or more of cocaine and 1 kg or more of heroin, two counts of money laundering, and possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of Fentanyl.

According to court records, Munoz was identified as a key member of the Sinaloa drug cartel in a case that began in southern California.

Working under cover, agents gathered evidence of money laundering and drug trafficking that lead to the Tri-Cities.

During execution of a search warrant, agents located and seized more than 19,000 Fentanyl-laced pills, 40 pounds of heroin, 4 pounds of methamphetamine, 23 pounds of cocaine and $170,000 in U.S. currency, records show. They also found items "consistent with" packaging large amounts of money, firearms, drug trafficking paraphernalia and multiple IDs.

It was the single largest drug seizure in Eastern Washington, records show, noting the operation could handle $1.25 million in drug cash proceeds.

The FBI further determined Munoz's drug-cash ledgers reflected an additional $6 million collected and several hundred kilograms of contraband sold here.

Shea found Munoz was the Eastern Washington leader for the Sinaloa Cartel, records show. Munoz was responsible for coordinating drug shipments and collecting large amounts of drug cash sent to cartel leaders in Mexico.

"In just a short period of time, Munoz and his co-conspirators coordinated vast shipments of drugs and cash across state and international borders," FBI Seattle Field Office Special Agent-in-Charge Donald M. Voiret said. "Removing these dangerous drugs from Washington state will no doubt save lives and families from the pain of addiction. This sentence reflects the severity of Munoz's actions, and he will have decades in prison to consider the impact of his decisions."

In addition to the FBI, the Cross Border Violence Task Force in San Diego, Calif.; police in Kennewick, Richland and Pasco; the state Department of Corrections and the Benton County Sheriff's Office participated in the investigation.

Asst. U.S. Attorney Stephanie Van Marter prosecuted the case.

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

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Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.


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