Pasco gang member sentenced for distributing fentanyl-laced drugs

The 24-year-old worked with a correctional officer to smuggle contraband into the Benton County Jail.
Pasco

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah and introduced as evidence at a trial shows fentanyl-laced fake oxycodone pills collected during an investigation. Congress has voted to temporarily extend a sweeping tool that has helped federal agents crack down on drugs chemically similar to fentanyl. The Senate on Thursday, April 29, 2021, approved legislation extending until October an order that allows the federal government to classify so-called fentanyl analogues as Schedule I controlled substances. The drugs are generally foreign-made with a very close chemical makeup to the dangerous opioid.

PASCO, Wash. — An admitted gang member from Pasco was sentenced to 160 months in prison on Wednesday for a plethora of charges related to an illegal drug smuggling scheme that put illegal contraband in the Benton County Jail. The following report comes from information released by the United States Attorney’s Office on July 1, 2021.

Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington Joseph H. Harrington, announced that 24-year-old Aleandro Leon of Pasco pleaded guilty to the following charges: Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition, Conspiracy to Provide Prohibited Objects to an Inmate in Prison, and Inmate in Possession of a Prohibited Object. He faces 13 years and four months in prison followed by five years under court supervision upon release.

Leon was released from prison and placed under the supervision of the Department of Corrections in November 2017. He was previously convicted of committing a drive-by shooting. Chief United States District Judge Stanley Bastian determined that Leon began distributing large amounts of heroin and pills laced with Fentanyl shortly after his release.

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He faced three separate federal indictments for criminal conduct between January 2019 and April 2020. Authorities say that Leon worked for a criminal organization that distributed thousands of Fentanyl-laced pills early in 2019. A co-conspirator, Miguel Candido, had his apartment searched in March 2019. Leon was arrested there for drug charges and unlawful possession of a loaded firearm.

While in police custody, Leon became involved in a conspiracy to smuggle illegal contraband, including methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, and cell phones, into the Benton County Jail with the help of a correctional officer.

Chief Judge Bastian determined that Leon was an extreme risk to re-offend and posed a danger to the community based on his criminal history and persistent offenses. He was apprehended, convicted, and charged through efforts of a federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation.

“The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington commends the law enforcement officers with the federal and local agencies who investigated this case.  Their seamless partnership resulted in the successful outcome of this matter,” Attorney Harrington said. “The sentence imposed by the court removes a drug trafficker and violent offender from our streets and sends a clear message to others who may choose to engage in such criminal activity.”

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