On Wednesday, August 23rd, 35-year old Amado De La Mora Cardenas was sentenced to over 11 years in in federal prison after his guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of pure methamphetamine. De La Mora Cardenas, of Colima, Mexico, will also serve 5 years of federal supervision after he is released from custody.

According to a press release from the Department of Justice, in April 2020, an investigation was opened into an organization suspected of trafficking methamphetamine into Eastern Washington, specifically in the Tri-Cities, and Connell. Multiple subjects were identified within the organization, including Carlos Madrigal-Deniz; Amado De La Mora Cardenas, Rafael Muniz De la Mora; and Pascual Masqueda-Salinas, and others.

Then, in September 2020, De La Mora Cardenas and Co-Defendant Madrigal-Deniz made arrangements for a ten-pound delivery of methamphetamine from Muniz-De La Mora, who brought a four-year-old child to the transaction. Co-Defendant Muniz-De La Mora then escorted the young child from one vehicle to the other.

It was then that DEA Tri-Cities stopped the suspect vehicle and recovered the backpack, which was inside the car, next to the child.  Inside the backpack the DEA recovered 10 pounds of methamphetamine.

In the press release, Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, stated “Drug distribution continues to harm the Tri-Cities and elsewhere. It is particularly troubling that Mr. De La Mora Cardenas participated in a drug transaction where a four-year old child was used to conceal distribution activities. I commend the collaborative efforts of state, local, and federal law enforcement to identify Mr. De La Mora Cardenas’s drug trafficking activities and to prevent him from further distributing this poison in our community.”

Multiple agencies were involved in this case, including DEA Tri-Cities, the METRO Drug Task Force, United States Border Patrol, Richland Police Department, Kennewick Police Department, Pasco Police Department, and West Richland Police Department.

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