By Gangsters Inc. Editors
The boss of a violent, prolific drug trafficking ring was sentenced on January 31 in a Seattle court to 15 years in prison. 36-year-old Cesar Valdez-Sanudo pleaded guilty in June 2022 to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to commit money laundering and carrying a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime.
At the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said he based the sentence on the “stunning size of the drug trafficking organization, and the amount of fentanyl and the death it is causing in our community.”
- READ: The Blind Kingpin is Punished: Blind rapper Mac Wayne gets 6 years in prison for drug trafficking
“Mr. Valdez-Sanudo led a violent ring of drug traffickers and buried kilos of meth, heroin, and fentanyl on his Arlington property, along with more than $300,000 cash – proceeds from the harm he spread across the community,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. “This is a long prison sentence, but given the harm these drugs are doing in our community, it is the appropriate sanction.”
Members of the drug ring were indicted in December 2020, following a lengthy wiretap investigation. Law enforcement seized large amounts of drugs during the investigation including a 49-pound load of methamphetamine that was coming to Washington State from California, disguised in boxes.
All told, in the course of the investigation law enforcement seized approximately 143 pounds of methamphetamine, 15 pounds of heroin, 35,000 suspected fentanyl pills, 24 firearms, and approximately $ 778,000.
Valdez-Sanudo was the leader of the ring. In messages to his coconspirators, he discussed violence against a member of the ring suspected of stealing a drug load. When he was arrested at the Snoqualmie Casino, Valdez-Sanudo had three firearms in his vehicle, one with a homemade silencer. Valdez-Sanudo had told others he planned to confront a member of the ring who owed a debt for drugs.
Dope & guns on the table, laundering $1 million through casinos
When law enforcement searched Valdez-Sanudo’s Arlington property, they seized more than 27 kilos of meth, nearly 6 kilos of heroin, and nearly 2 kilos of fentanyl pills, much of it buried underground. On the property, there were 10 firearms.
Law enforcement seized cash, checks, and the contents of bank accounts as proceeds of the drug crime. Valdez-Sanudo schemed to launder more than $1 million through casinos. He also purchased property and vehicles to launder drug money. Conspirators sought to avoid banking transaction reporting requirements by making deposits in amounts below the $10,000 threshold.
- Back to the Organized Crime in North America section on Gangsters Inc.
- Check out the latest news on organized crime and the Mafia at our news section
- Check out our social media channels
- About Gangsters Inc.
Copyright © Gangsters Inc.