Protecting criminals in America: Six cartel members get minimum sentencing in drug trafficking operation

“Nobody is above the law.” The political left often uses those words to describe their political opponents, typically former President Donald Trump.

Of course, that is a misnomer because, in the world of leftists, many people are “above the law,” including, apparently, members of Mexican drug cartels.

Last year, The Seattle Times reported that six men were charged for roles in a significant drug operation throughout Washington State and into California. They were part of a substantial drug organization tied to the Sinaloa cartel. The men were arrested for trafficking large amounts of meth, fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine throughout the western United States.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Candice Duclos said the arrests culminated a year-long investigation. In April 2022, a quantity of drugs and cash were seized, and four suspects were arrested. However, they were not prosecuted to protect the ongoing investigation.

By September, however, the group was back in business.

“It’s striking that you can take so much drugs and money away from them, and they’re back in business. It doesn’t disrupt them—it’s just a minor annoyance,” Duclos said at the time. “I hate to be pessimistic, but these organizations get money and people, and they’re right back to work.”

Fast forward to the week before last, when all six suspects pleaded guilty to drug trafficking. Given the significant drug problem in the United States, one would surmise that all six received lengthy prison sentences.

Wrong! Fox 13 reported that the sentences for the six suspects ranged from just over three months to a year in prison. Of the six, only one remains locked up, with others receiving credit for time served.

Mario N. Renteria-Gutierrez pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (VUCSA), received three months with 69 days credit for time served; Jose Castro-Urias pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit VUCSA, sentenced to 107 days in prison with 107 days credit for time served; Rafael Alejandro Salomon-Orduno pleaded guilty to Felony VUCSA (Drug Possession), sentenced to 184 days in jail with 184 days credit for time served; Sabas Enrique Salomon Castro pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit VUCSA, sentenced to 364 days with 173 days credit for time served; Edward A. Escamilla-Benitez pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit VUCSA, sentenced to three months with credit for time served of 181 days; and Jesus A. Herrera-Ungson pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit VUCSA, sentenced to 112 days with 112 days credit for time served.

Judge Josephine Wiggs sentenced the first suspect, Castro-Urias; Judge Pro Tem Nikole Hecklinger sentenced the last five.

These six were dealing in dangerous narcotics responsible for Americans' deaths and severe illness. King County, Washington overdose tracker shows that 617 people have died from fentanyl overdoses thus far in 2023, while 802 people died in all of 2022.

Meanwhile, people who paraded or trespassed on the US Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021, are still locked up, some in solitary confinement, or have been sentenced to years in prison regardless of time served.

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