Drug Trafficking Fugitive Sentenced to 42 Months in Federal Prison
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 24, 2014|
SPOKANE—Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Rodolfo Naranjo, age 53, a former resident alien from Mexico who resided Wenatchee, Washington, was sentenced for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and failure to appear in a case that reaches back to 1994. Senior United States District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle sentenced Naranjo to a 42-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 36-month term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison.
Based on information disclosed during the court proceedings, this case arose from a joint federal and state investigation of cocaine smuggling through north central Washington into Canada. In the fall of 1994, law enforcement officers obtained historical evidence of Naranjo’s involvement in past shipments of cocaine and information about his expected future deliveries using sources of supply in California and Mexico. Thereafter, on December 2, 1994, Naranjo delivered two kilograms of cocaine to an individual who was cooperating with law enforcement officers. Naranjo was subsequently arrested and charged by federal indictment on February 7, 1995. Following his court appearance on the indictment, Naranjo was released on bond and fled to Mexico. He was thereafter charged by federal indictment for failure to appear.
Naranjo remained a fugitive until April 26, 2013, when he was arrested at an airport in Dallas, Texas, as he attempted to enter the United States from Mexico. The United States Marshals Service returned Naranjo to the Eastern District of Washington, and he entered guilty pleas to the two charges on October 17, 2013.
Michael C. Ormsby stated, “Drug trafficking is a serious federal offense, particularly when it involves smuggling activities across international borders. Individuals charged with a federal offense will be brought to justice even if, as in this case, it has been over 18 years. Those who chose to flee from justice should know that they will be located, arrested, and prosecuted for their criminal conduct.”
This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Customs Service, the United States Border Patrol, and the North Central Washington Narcotics Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Timothy J. Ohms, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.