Two Bellingham transnational drug dealers sentenced to prison

Monday, March 18, 2024

Blue fentanyl. SAN file photo
Seattle – Two members of a transnational drug trafficking organization were sentenced to federal prison March 15, 2024 for arranging the sale of more than 75,000 fentanyl pills, announced U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. 

Juan Manuel Lugo Enriquez, 21, and a citizen of Mexico, sold 2,000 fentanyl pills to an undercover agent near Bellingham. 

Then, Lugo Enriquez and Guillermo Vieyra Salas, 24, also a citizen of Mexico, arranged a second deal involving 75,000 pills. 

U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez sentenced Lugo Enriquez to 38 months and Vieyra Salas to 48 months in prison. Judge Martinez found troubling the large amount of fentanyl at issue here, particularly because fentanyl has become “a leading cause of death over the last couple of years.”

“Federal law enforcement is keenly focused on getting as much fentanyl as possible off our streets,” said U.S. Attorney Gorman. “Seizing more than 75,000 pills will save lives.”

According to records filed in the case, the case began with a tip that a Seattle-based member of the drug trafficking organization, later identified as Lugo Enriquez, was bringing bulk quantities of fentanyl pills into Western Washington from Mexico. 

Defendant Vieyra Salas was already on law enforcement radar, charged with a drive-by shooting where he fired 27 rounds from a car he was driving while carrying cocaine. He also has a pending cocaine trafficking charge in Skagit County.

Homeland Security Investigations undercover agents quickly set up drug deals – first for 2,000 pills with Lugo Enriquez and then for a large order of 75,000 pills with Lugo Enriquez, Vieyra Salas, and a third defendant. As Lugo Enriquez and Vieyra Salas waited for the third defendant to deliver the drugs, Vieyra Salas offered to sell the undercover agents more pills.

The third defendant arrived at a separate meeting place to deliver the pills and was arrested. Lugo Enriquez and Vieyra Salas were arrested over the following days.

The defendant who delivered the pills, Jaime Alonso Hernandez-Hernandez, 41, is scheduled for sentencing on June 7, 2024.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Yunah Chung.


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