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News / Clark County News

2 former Vancouver men each get 11 years for drug trafficking while in federal custody

They organized distribution of meth while in prison in Oklahoma

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: November 3, 2023, 4:05pm

Two former Vancouver men were each sentenced Friday to 11 years in federal prison for organizing the trafficking of large quantities of methamphetamine while they were in federal custody in Oklahoma.

Alfredo Valdovinos-Diaz, 45, and Cosme Sanchez-Espino, 41, pleaded guilty in July in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

Both men were already serving lengthy federal prison terms for drug trafficking when they used contraband cellphones to direct trafficking in the Pacific Northwest. Law enforcement seized more than 80 pounds of methamphetamine from loads connected to them, the news release states.

Valdovinos-Diaz was serving eight years for a 2015 conviction. In that case, prosecutors said he directed methamphetamine distribution through a network, with connections to a cartel in Mexico, that operated out of Vancouver, Olympia and Tacoma.

Sanchez-Espino was serving a 15-year sentence for a 2008 case, in which he distributed methamphetamine to dealers in Montana from a supplier in Washington, according to prosecutors.

During Valdovinos-Diaz’s sentencing hearing, Chief U.S. District Judge David G. Estudillo said drug dealing “affects families, … affects communities because of the crime associated with controlled substances, but also the effect on public services such as health care. … (Drugs) take a toll on individuals who ingest a bad mixture, and maybe get a dose of fentanyl that is mixed into the methamphetamine, and they just die,” the news release reads.

Prosecutors said both men are likely to be deported to Mexico, where they’re citizens, after they complete their sentences.