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Washington state methamphetamine dealer sentenced to 9 years in prison

SEATTLE — A Snohomish County methamphetamine dealer was sentenced to nine years in prison and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and counterfeiting.

The Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation designated "Operation Black ICE" was led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Snohomish Police Department.

Christopher Frick, 38, was arrested in March and pleaded guilty last October to the charges. Court records say Frick came to the attention of authorities in 2011 when they caught him on court authorized wiretaps arranging drug deals during the investigation of the Berrelleza-Verduzco drug trafficking organization.

At the time, Frick was already being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service for using a counterfeit $50 bill that he made by altering a $5 bill. A search of his Monroe, Wash., residence following his arrest turned up methamphetamine and counterfeit U.S. currency. According to prosecutors, Frick has more than 30 prior convictions, ranging from burglary and drug possession to vehicle theft and forgery and fraud.

Operation Black ICE resulted in 34 indictments, and the seizure of more than 20 pounds of heroin, more than 30 pounds of methamphetamine, nearly $200,000 and 31 firearms - including 10 assault rifles. Frick is one of the first defendants in this case to plead guilty and be sentenced. The others are scheduled for trial later this year.

The investigation was assisted by OCDETF member agencies, including the Seattle, Lake Stevens, Everett, Monroe and Marysville police departments; the Eastside Narcotics Task Force; the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force; the Skagit County Inter-local Drug Enforcement Unit; the Snohomish County Sheriff's Department; the Washington State Patrol; and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Offices of Field Operations and Border Patrol. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington.