Washington-region drug boss with ties to Jalisco New Generation Cartel gets over 12 years for “meth infused candle wax”

By Gangsters Inc. Editors

One of the leaders of a violent international drug trafficking organization that distributed heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine in the Puget Sound region was sentenced Tuesday over 12 years in prison. 37-year-old Jose Elias Barbosa, of Kent, Washington, had a leadership role in a massive narcotics trafficking organization that used guns and threats of violence to collect debts.

Barbosa pleaded guilty in August 2022. Law enforcement has linked the organization to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel in Mexico. In November 2019, the group received a shipment of liquid methamphetamine concealed in candles. Barbosa helped underlings extract the methamphetamine and cook it into crystal form at a Port Orchard, Washington location.


While surveilling the Port Orchard residence, law enforcement heard multiple gunshots and later learned Barbosa had been shot in the collarbone. Members of the drug ring grew concerned law enforcement would arrive at the Port Orchard house, so they loaded the meth infused candle wax into a van. The van was later stopped by law enforcement who seized the meth and the processing equipment.

In all, Barbosa was responsible for the distribution of at least 55 pounds of methamphetamine, 600 grams of heroin, and fentanyl throughout Western Washington and elsewhere.

The wiretapped phone calls revealed that Barbosa pursued those who owed drug debts to the organization and possessed firearms during the drug conspiracy. According to the plea agreement, on one occasion, Barbosa took a car from another crew member to satisfy a drug debt. Barbosa later threatened that same member. The wiretapped calls show Barbosa and others talked frequently about kidnappings, assaults, and even murders as ways to get debtors to pay up.

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