Federal agents seized many pounds of meth and heroin, along with thousands of suspected fentanyl pills, at a 10-acre property east of Arlington in mid-December 2020. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

Federal agents seized many pounds of meth and heroin, along with thousands of suspected fentanyl pills, at a 10-acre property east of Arlington in mid-December 2020. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

Relatives of Arlington fentanyl, meth ringleader get federal prison

Jose Arredondo-Valdez, the cousin of Cesar Valdez-Sanudo, got nine years Tuesday. Valdez-Sanudo’s wife got 30 months.

SEATTLE — Two close relatives of a major drug trafficking ringleader who buried large quantities of drugs on his 10-acre Arlington property, were sentenced to federal prison Tuesday for their involvement in the sale of fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour sentenced ringleader Cesar Valdez-Sanudo’s cousin and right-hand man, Jose Arredondo-Valdez, to nine years in prison.

Valdez-Sanudo’s wife, Yvette Olguin, got 2½ years.

In late January, a federal judge sentenced ringleader Valdez-Sanudo to 15 years in prison.

Arredondo-Valdez, 27, lived on the Arlington property where the drugs were stored, according to federal prosecutors. In late 2020, authorities learned he was distributing large amounts of fentanyl, meth and heroin to dealers.

In December 2020, agents arrested Arredondo-Valdez, of Lake Stevens, and Valdez-Sanudo when they went to Snoqualmie Casino to look for someone who owed them money. Investigators reportedly found three guns in the car, including one with a homemade silencer.

That month, agents searched several properties associated with Valdez-Sanudo.

At the Arlington compound, investigators found stashes of drugs and money buried throughout the property. Under an ATV parked inside a carport, for example, they discovered a wooden box with meth. And buried under gravel below a parked Mercedes, they found about 10,000 suspected fentanyl pills, according to court documents.

In a trailer, investigators found a map that seemed to show where the drugs and money were buried.

In total, authorities unearthed 27.5 kilograms of meth, 5.8 kilograms of heroin, 1.8 kilograms of suspected fentanyl pills and $313,000, court papers say.

That day, investigators served search warrants on over a dozen other properties, where they reportedly found two dozen guns, tens of thousands of fentanyl pills, nearly 100 pounds of meth and $525,000.

On top of that, Valdez-Sanudo and his wife, Olguin, laundered money through real estate and car purchases as well as casino winnings, according to court documents.

The month of the searches, a federal grand jury indicted Valdez-Sanudo, Arredondo-Valdez, Olguin and over half a dozen other members of the organization. Prosecutors charged more co-conspirators later.

In June, Olguin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

In a letter to the judge, she wrote “I have learned my lesson.” She reported doing what Valdez-Sanudo told her to, despite his drug use. She was afraid of what he’d do if she left.

Earlier this year, Arredondo-Valdez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

In a letter of his own, he apologized for his actions.

“I did hurt someone without realizing it,” Arredondo-Valdez wrote. “I ask you for forgiveness.”

The drugs seized from a Clorox box and an air mattress box in the car of a courier in November 2020. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

The drugs seized from a Clorox box and an air mattress box in the car of a courier in November 2020. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

Several other ring members have already been sentenced.

Fausto Paz, a courier, was sentenced to four years.

Wayne Frisby, a blind rapper from Marysville who distributed the drugs, got six years.

Earlier this month, Ana Pacheco also got six years.

Keith Silverson, another dealer from Tacoma, got the same.

And Gabriel Vazquez-Ruiz, of Bothell, got 10.

Almost all the other defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing. They are:

• Omar Vazquez-Limon, of Kent;

• Aaron Alarcon-Castaneda, of Chino, California;

• Steven Del Vecchio, of Snohomish;

• Tracy Hawkins, of Gold Bar;

• Clint Schlotfeldt.

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

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