Pasco leader of Sinaloa Cartel cell sentenced to prison

Transnational drug trafficker gets 26 years in federal prison
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A courtroom inside the U.S. District Courthouse and Federal Building in Richland (May 11, 2018 - KAPP-KVEW)

RICHLAND, Wash. — A Pasco man described by prosecutors as a “leader/organizer of a cell with the Sinaloa Cartel” was sentenced this week to 26 years in prison for drug crimes and money laundering, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

Reynaldo Perez Munoz, 41, was sentenced after pleading guilty on August 28, 2020, to the following crimes, according to Joseph Harrington, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington:

  • Conspiracy to distribute 50+ grams methamphetamine, five or more kilograms of cocaine and at least one kilogram of heroin
  • Money laundering (two counts)
  • Possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl

Senior United States District Judge Edward Shea sentenced Munoz to 26 years of federal prison time + a seven-year term of court supervision after release.

Federal authorities call him a transnational drug trafficker, and he was living right here in the Tri-Cities.

This case started with undercover FBI agents in Southern California checking out a suspected drug cartel’s money laundering scheme. Agents learned drugs were moving to Munoz and the Tri-Cities.

Here, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force in the Tri-Cities got search warrants and “seized over 19,000 fentanyl-laced pills, 40 pounds of heroin, 4 pounds of methamphetamine, 23 pounds of cocaine, and $170,000 in cash.”

“…in less than one month, this organization was able to hand deliver over $1.25 million in drug cash proceeds.  This case involved one of the single largest drug seizures in the Eastern District of Washington.  It also involved one of the largest Fentanyl pill seizures at the time.”

Federal authorities also say FBI cryptoanalysis of drug ledgers seized from Munoz showed another $6 million in cartel drug money and several hundred kilograms of drugs moved through him.

Harrington said Judge Shea found that Munoz was the leader/organizer of a cell with the Sinaloa Cartel in Eastern Washington.

“This case highlights the joint commitment, dedication, and partnership between our state and federal partners in combatting drug trafficking in our community.  I commend their outstanding work,” said Harrington. “This investigation made a substantial mark upon a large-scale organization that had chosen Eastern Washington as a point of operation.  It is these types of investigations that bring into focus the dangers drug trafficking organizations pose to our community.”

“In just a short period of time, Munoz and his co-conspirators coordinated vast shipments of drugs and cash across state and international borders,” said Donald M. Voiret, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Seattle Field Office. “Removing these dangerous drugs from Washington state will no doubt save lives and families from the pain of addiction.”

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