Moses Lake drug trafficker gets 16 years in federal prison

February 11, 2013 

— A Moses Lake drug trafficker was sentenced to more than 16 years in federal prison after being convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and other offenses relating to the operation of a meth trafficking organization.

Michael C. Ormsby, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said in a news release the offenses occurred between May 2010 and July 2011.

Martin Murillo-Barriga, 36, was sentenced Friday by Senior United States District Judge Edward Shea to a 16 1/2-year term of imprisonment, to be followed by an eight-year term of court supervision following release from federal prison, the release said.

As a condition of that supervision, Murillo-Barriga is prohibited from returning to the U.S. as he is not a citizen and faces deportation to Mexico as a result the convictions in this case, the release said.

In April 2012, Murillo-Barriga was charged by way of a five-count indictment with the following offenses: conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine and 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine; possession of 5 grams or more of actual methamphetamine with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school; maintaining a drug involved premises within 1,000 feet of a school; possession of methamphetamine; and attempted possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine.

The charges against Murillo-Barriga were tried before a jury and, on Oct. 10, 2012, he was convicted on all counts, the release said.

At the sentencing hearing, the judge found Murillo-Barriga was a leader of a methamphetamine trafficking organization, that he committed the offenses as part of a pattern of criminal conduct engaged in as a livelihood, that he maintained a premises for the purpose of manufacturing or distributing a controlled substance and that firearms were possessed during the offense, the release said.

The judge also found that the Moses Lake property from which Murillo-Barriga directed the drug trafficking organization bordered a primary grade school. Murillo-Barriga faced a mandatory minimum term of 10 years but based on the above aggravating factors, the judge imposed a 16 1/2 year sentence, the release said.

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