PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two former Vancouver residents received longer prison sentences after running a drug trafficking ring out of an Oklahoma correctional facility.
During Friday’s sentencing in the U.S. District Court in Tacoma, 45-year-old Alfredo Valdovinos-Diaz and 41-year-old Cosme Sanchez-Espino were sentenced to an additional 11 years in prison.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, the two defendants were already serving federal prison sentences for other drug-related crimes.
Officials said Valdovinos-Diaz was previously sentenced to eight years for a drug trafficking conviction in 2015. Then, the defendant was found guilty of leading a methamphetamine and heroin distribution network based in Vancouver, Olympia and Tacoma.
The attorney’s office stated the network was connected to a Mexican drug cartel, and distributed “multi-kilogram quantities” of drugs.
Authorities reported that the second defendant, Sanchez-Espino, had been sentenced to 15 years of prison in 2008 for distributing methamphetamine from Washington to Montana.
Officials said both men continued a drug trafficking conspiracy while incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institute Great Plains in Hinton, Okla.
In 2019 and 2020, the Attorney’s Office reported that Valdovinos-Diaz contacted several couriers and suppliers about packaging and hiding large shipments of methamphetamine being trafficked into Washington.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Max Shiner, who requested the 11-year sentence for the lead defendant, wrote that he “demonstrates that he is committed to criminal activity and that his ‘blatant disrespect’ requires additional deterrence.”
Along with Valdovinos-Diaz, Sanchez-Espino is also believed to have used contraband cell phones to assist the drug conspiracy.
Law enforcement officers recovered 57 pounds of ‘loads’ — or glutethimide and codeine — and 25 pounds of methamphetamine in connection to the trafficking ring.
The two were indicted in 2020 and pleaded guilty this July.
Authorities said Valdovinos-Diaz and Sanchez-Espino are citizens of Mexico who will likely be deported after their U.S. prison sentences.