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Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Spokane Washington Trafficker with Ties to Sinaloa Cartel Sentenced to 16 Years

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

A Benton City man is going to prison for leading an operation that moved as much as $40,000 in cocaine and meth a day in Washington State.

Chief U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian has sentenced Julio Leal Parra, 47, of Benton City, Washington, to 191 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to leading and organizing a drug trafficking conspiracy with ties to the Sinaloa cartel. Chief Judge Bastian also ordered Parra to pay a $50,000 money judgment in lieu of forfeiture of assets and to serve five years on federal supervision if he is allowed to remain in the United States. Parra’s drug trafficking organization operated out of the Tri-Cities, Washington, area.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force identified a transnational drug trafficking organization operating in and around the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, Washington). Task Force Officers identified Parra as the head of a cell who worked directly with leaders of the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico. Parra facilitated and organized large drug shipments of methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin into the communities that make up the Eastern District of Washington. While running his drug operation, Parra operated “Perfect Design,” an upholstery business, and “SuKarne,” a meat market, in Kennewick. Law enforcement officers identified each of these businesses as locations in which Parra and his coconspirators stored drug shipments and laundered large amounts of cash. Working closely with local law enforcement, the FBI was able to identify several members of Parra’s organization, who worked as drug transporters and distributors reaching from Arizona and California all the way to Kennewick, Spokane, Idaho, and Montana. To date, ten members of the conspiracy have been convicted.

Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers seized more than 60 pounds of methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin, including a single shipment of 33 pounds of methamphetamine. Parra admitted to being directly responsible for bringing 20 to 50-pound shipments of drugs into the Tri-Cities every few weeks from December 2016 through October 2019. Even using conservative estimates, it appears that Parra was directly responsible for bringing more than a thousand pounds of drugs into Eastern Washington.

At the sentencing proceedings in the case, Chief Judge Bastian noted Parra’s leadership role in his organization and the stunning amount of narcotics and drug proceeds involved. He acknowledged that this was Parra’s first felony offense, but given the seriousness of the case, imposed a sentence of 191 months in federal custody. 

Police first learned of Leal Parra’s drug operation after the arrest of his nephew, Escarcega Leal, in 2016. He was caught in St. Louis, Mo., with 2 kilograms of heroin and 5 kilograms of cocaine that he and his co-defendant were transporting to Kentucky, say investigators. The 2016 Nissan Maxima they were caught in was registered to a Pasco address. The two men were each sentenced to a year and a half in federal prison for transporting drugs. Around the same time, the FBI learned about a criminal enterprise working out of the Tri-Cities that was in need of money laundering. As part of the investigation headed up out of Southern California, investigators tracked more than $1 million in drug cash dropped off between December 2017 and February 2018. Starting in 2018, police started investigating Leal Parra’s organization and found that he was operating out of a converted Kennewick apartment building on First Avenue and a business on Clearwater Avenue. Unnamed defendants and witnesses explained they would collect drugs from storage units and bring them to four buyers in Spokane. One of the sources described bringing a pound of meth and cocaine to Spokane each day. A courier then would bring back $20,000 to $40,000 from each delivery, according to court records.

U.S. Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref commended the seamless collaboration between the FBI, the Safe Streets Task Force, and local and state law enforcement in the investigation, apprehension, and prosecution of a high-level drug distributor and stated: “To ensure a safe and strong Eastern Washington community, investigations like this one require the combined efforts of federal, state, and local agencies. I am incredibly grateful to all of the dedicated law enforcement officers, support staff, and their families, who prioritized the investigation, apprehension, and prosecution of Mr. Parra and his criminal coconspirators.” U.S. Attorney Waldref continued: “For years, Mr. Parra peddled life ravaging narcotics throughout our region with no regard for the communities, families, and individuals he was destroying. The lengthy sentence imposed reflects the need to hold drug traffickers accountable for the serious harm they cause our communities and the need to deter like-minded individuals from engaging in similar crimes.”

“Over several years, this high-level drug dealer was responsible for huge quantities of drugs being transported frequently through Eastern Washington and multiple other states,” said Donald M. Voiret, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Seattle Field Office. “I want to thank all the partners involved in the FBI Southeast Washington Safe Streets Task Force for their commitment to this case. This sentence will remove Mr. Parra from our community for more than 15 years.”


  1. All fun and games til they get caught

  2. Once he does his time he needs to be removed from this country and what's this b******* $50,000 fine in lieu of seizure of assets sees everything you possibly can from that a***

  3. Stop the " Addiction " in the US and you stop the Drug Cartels .

    1. @8:30 Beware the unintended consequences. Criminals will commit crimes. No drugs will likely mean more kidnappings, carjackings and many others as criminals find ways to make up for the loss of drug revenue. The drug business may well be the lesser of other evils.

    2. Unkown you're such a rookie cookie. For reals the cartels will disappear, once no one buys from USA? Will the cartels resort to working at Taco places, for 80 Pesos a day? How about washing windows for $60 pesos a day? Hummm your are very smart and everything will come back to normal.😷😷😷😂😂😂

    3. James Brown is using common sense rookie. If drug business dries out, they resort to the other illegal crimes they have been doing for a while, as James Brown mentioned.

    4. Well, how can you have drug cartels with No DrUGS?

      They would simply be a kidnapping ring and would get wiped out easier. Drugs have way more profits and less risk compared to exposing your crew to assault, kidnapping or robberies.


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