Yakima drug trafficker sentenced to 11 years in federal prison

SPOKANE, Wash. — A Yakima drug trafficker was sentenced Wednesday to 11 years in federal prison for transporting large quantities of methamphetamine to be sold throughout eastern Washington.

Federal authorities identified 31-year-old Jesus Valencia-Morfin as a drug trafficker as part of a lengthy joint investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) into the sale of drugs and firearms in Grant County and surrounding areas, according to the U.S. Justice Department’s Eastern District of Washington.

In July 2019, authorities executed search warrants at several locations including Valencia-Morfin’s home, where they found guns, a ballistic vest and small amounts of meth. A search of the suspect’s car led to the discovery of 6 pounds of meth in his trunk.

Valencia-Morfin pleaded guilty on Feb. 19, 2020 to possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

ATF’s National Integrated Ballistics Network identified one of the firearms they seized as a 9mm Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun that was to shoot two people in Yakima County on Dec. 24, 2018. One of the victims was hospitalized as a result of that shooting, authorities said.

Valencia-Morfin pleaded guilty in Yakima County Superior Court to two counts of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon as part of a global resolution with the federal drug trafficking case.