SEATTLE — A legally blind rapper from Marysville was sentenced Tuesday to six years in federal prison for his role in a major drug trafficking ring.
In December 2020, Wayne Frisby, 38, was one of 11 defendants indicted in U.S. District Court in Seattle in connection with an operation distributing heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl pills across Pierce, King, Lewis and Snohomish counties. He was accused of being a top local seller of drugs trafficked by the ring.
A couple months before the indictment, federal investigators got authorization to wiretap the phones of Cesar Valdez-Sanudo, a leader of the drug trafficking organization. This led them to Valdez-Sanudo’s associates, including Frisby, according to court documents.
The wiretaps reportedly showed Frisby got drugs directly from Valdez-Sanudo and redistributed them. Investigators were able to identify his voice by comparing it to a documentary on Amazon Prime chronicling Frisby’s life titled “Blind and Battered.” Frisby lost his eyesight when he shot himself as a teen. After recovering, he began a rap career under the name “Mac Wayne.” He has called himself the “Ray Charles of rap.”
“Mr. Frisby gained notoriety through his drug dealing and self-promotion, but his conduct was serious and put countless lives at risk,” U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said in a statement.
In one call with Valdez-Sanudo, Frisby asked if he could get a kilogram of heroin for $24,000. A couple days later, Frisby told the ringleader his “homeboy killed somebody.” Frisby said he was trying to “hide him” from police, according to court papers. He was referring to the fentanyl ripoff that left Jason Castle shot dead in Marysville. The shooter was sentenced to over 19 years in prison for the killing.
The next day, Nov. 10, 2020, federal agents were tracking a white Dodge Ram motoring north from the Columbia River to Chehalis. Police pulled it over. They impounded the truck belonging to Fausto “Gordito” Paz, of Ontario, California. Inside, investigators later found 49 pounds of meth in the Dodge, prosecutors alleged.
The meth was en route from California to Valdez-Sanudo’s secluded, 10-acre property east of Arlington. Buried under gravel and wood, prosecutors alleged Valdez-Sanudo hid a trove of drugs.
In December 2020, federal agents executed 15 search warrants across Washington and in Los Angeles, California. They also arrested 10 of the 11 defendants. The searches turned up 93 pounds of meth, 15 pounds of heroin, 35,000 pills suspected to contain fentanyl, 24 guns and about $525,000, according to court records. Prior seizures uncovered more than 154 pounds of meth, 20 pounds of heroin and another 7,000 pills.
In May of this year, Frisby pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
Federal prosecutors pushed U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour to sentence Frisby to eight years. Coughenour decided on six years.
Frisby is not the first defendant in this case to be sentenced. In March, Paz, the man caught driving meth from California, was sentenced to four years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
And more sentencings are coming. Valdez-Sanudo, a Mexican national, pleaded guilty in June. He is set to be sentenced in October. He faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years.
Others who have pleaded guilty and await sentencing, include:
• Yvette Olguin, of Everett;
• Gabriel Vazquez-Ruiz, of Bothell;
• Tracy Hawkins, of Gold Bar;
• Keith Silverson, of Tacoma.
Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.
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