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In the Tri-Cities, Jose Mendoza-Ruelas, a 38-year-old man from Mexico, has been sentenced to 150 months in federal prison by United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke.

Mendoza-Ruelas pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of pure methamphetamine, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, and five kilograms or more of cocaine. He will also serve five years of federal supervision upon release from custody.

The sentencing follows an investigation into a large drug trafficking organization that Mendoza-Ruelas was part of. The organization used a legitimate landscaping business to cover up their drug trafficking activities. During the investigation, large quantities of methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cash were recovered. The organization was also found to be in possession of automatic rifles.

Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, praised the collaborative efforts of state, local, and federal law enforcement in identifying Mendoza-Ruelas's drug trafficking activities. She noted that drug distribution remains a scourge in the Tri-Cities area and elsewhere, but the community is safer and stronger as a result of the sentence.

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