Benton City man tied to cartel sentenced for operating drug conspiracy out of Tri-Cities

Yakama, Tri-Cities

PASCO, Wash. — A 47-year-old Benton City man will serve nearly 16 years in federal prison for his part in a drug trafficking conspiracy with the Sinaloa cartel. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington confirmed that Julio Leal Parra operated out of the Tri-Cities.

Information disclosed in court confirmed that FBI Safe Streets Task Force obtained information linking illegal drug activity to the Tri-Cities region. They acknowledged that Parra was the head of the cell and worked directly in contact with cartel leaders in Mexico.

He facilitated large drug shipments of methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin into Eastern Washington using two local businesses as fronts:  “Perfect Design,” an upholstery store, and “SuKarne,” a meat market in Kennewick. Here, Parra and his co-conspirators laundered large sums of money and stored drug shipments.

To this point, 10 members of his group have been convicted for transporting and distributing drugs across the Western United States including Arizona, California, Kennewick, Spokane, Idaho, and Montana.

Law enforcement agents seized more than 60 pounds of methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin over the course of their investigation. One particularly large shipment from the bunch included 30 lbs of meth.

Parra admitted that he was directly responsible for bringing between 20 and 50 lbs of trugs into the Tri-Cities every week between December 2016 and October 2019. Ultimately, he was responsible for bringing more than 1,000 lbs of drugs into the area.

“For years, Mr. Parra peddled life ravaging narcotics throughout our region with no regard for the communities, families, and individuals he was destroying,” said U.S. Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref. “The lengthy sentence imposed reflects the need to hold drug traffickers accountable for the serious harm they cause our communities and the need to deter like-minded individuals from engaging in similar crimes.”

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