Vancouver man gets 7 years in drugs, arms case

Police found drugs, weapons, $112,000 in cash at house

By Andy Matarrese, Columbian Breaking News Reporter

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A U.S. District Court judge sentenced a Vancouver resident to almost seven years in prison this week for drug trafficking and firearms possession.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tacoma, Ignacio Magana Montes — aka Sostenes Montoya Sanches, aka Nacho — was sentenced after pleading guilty in April to possession of heroin with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

He pleaded guilty in April and was sentenced to 80 months in prison. Magana Montes is a Mexican national, and will likely be deported following his prison term, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to court records, Vancouver police officers searched a home in the 2300 block Neals Lane in Vancouver in September 2015.

There, inside a locked closet in the master bedroom, officers found a .22-caliber pistol, a .45-caliber pistol, about a dozen cellphones, more than $112,000 in cash and an ounce of heroin. In the garage, they found 3 pounds of heroin. In a lock box buried outside of the garage, they found another 2 pounds of heroin.

In all, investigators seized more than 5 pounds of heroin and $128,000 from the house.

Prosecutors characterized Magana Montes as a “large-scale dealer,” saying the 5 pounds of heroin could have provided more than 20,000 individual doses of heroin.

Police searched the house and found the drug trafficking operation after family members were involved in a drive-by shooting incident nearby, then returned to the home, according to the U.S. Attorney. It was unclear whether that shooting was drug-related.