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Contraband
05/14/2010

Repeat offender sentenced to 10 years in meth distribution conspiracy

Defendant was arrested in "Operation Arctic Chill"

SEATTLE - An Olympia, Wash., man with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced Friday to 10 years in federal prison and four years of supervised release for his role in a drug trafficking organization that supplied methamphetamine and cocaine from Mexico for distribution in Washington state.

Doug Alfonso, 49, was arrested last summer as part of a joint U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation dubbed "Operation Arctic Chill." The investigation showed that Alfonso was a significant distributor of methamphetamine, purchasing and distributing up to two pounds of the drug each week.

According to Alfonso's plea agreement in February, he admitted paying between $15,000 and $19,000 per pound for methamphetamine and selling it in Thurston, Lewis and Pierce counties. He was arrested by ICE and DEA agents on June 30, 2009.

"While some may mistakenly view smuggling and trafficking in narcotics as a path to a quick profit, this sentencing of a recidivist criminal demonstrates that serious consequences await those who engage in the smuggling and sale of illegal drugs," said Special Agent in Charge Leigh Winchell with ICE's Office of Investigations in Seattle.

Alfonso has several prior state court convictions in Washington for drug possession and harassment dating back to 1998. He was among 31 people arrested by federal agents during a two-week period in June 2009 who were tied to this drug trafficking organization.

Last week, Martin Oseguera-Chavez, the lead defendant in the Arctic Chill investigation, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. In his plea agreement, Oseguera-Chavez, 51, admitted distributing cocaine and methamphetamine that was illegally brought into the United States from Mexico and transported north to Washington state. Under the terms of that agreement, Oseguera-Chavez must be sentenced to 10 to15 years in prison. If the sentence does not fall within that range, the defendant or the government can withdraw from the plea agreement.

ICE and DEA were assisted in this investigation by the police departments of Auburn, Bonney Lake, Centralia, Federal Way, Tacoma and Puyallup; the Pierce County Sheriff's Office; the Gray's Harbor Task Force; the South Snohomish Drug Task Force; the Tahoma Narcotics Enforcement Team; the Washington Department of Corrections; and the Washington State Patrol.