Lights & Sirens

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Seattle: Cuban national gets 16 years for cocaine trafficking, gun crimes

Post by Stephanie A. Clark on May 29, 2010 at 7:35 am |
May 29, 2010 7:37 am

The U.S. District Court in Seattle sentenced a 40-year-old Cuban national to 16 years in prison for cocaine drug trafficking and firearm violations. Leonel Marin-Torres was arrested March of 2009 after threatening a woman at the Franklin Apartments in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle.

Read the complete press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Friday:

LEONEL MARIN-TORRES, 40, a Cuban national living in Seattle, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 16 years in prison and 8 years of supervised release for possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and being a felon in possession of a firearm. MARIN-TORRES was arrested March 25, 2009, and was convicted following a jury trial March 2, 2010. At sentencing Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik told him, “The jury had overwhelming evidence of your guilt. The jury made the right decision.”

According to filings in the case, and testimony at trial, a female resident of the Franklin Apartments in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, called police when MARIN-TORRES, a known drug dealer, refused to leave her apartment. MARIN-TORRES had threatened the woman previously with a gun, pointing it at her head. Police arrested MARIN-TORRES in the stairwell of the building. MARIN-TORRES had a firearm in his pocket and crack cocaine in his pockets. MARIN-TORRES has previous convictions for delivery of cocaine (1996), escape (1997) and unlawful possession of a firearm (2008).

In asking for a lengthy prison sentence, Special Assistant United States Attorney Andy Colasurdo noted that MARIN-TORRES had been engaged in criminal activity for 15 years. “The testimony at trial clearly established that he is not a man battling his own drug addiction. Nor is he a man who has taken to selling drugs in order to support his own habit,” Mr. Colasurdo wrote in his sentencing memo. “Instead, Marin-Torres is a long-time drug dealer who has preyed upon those who are addicted to drugs and feasted on them. He intentionally sought out these vulnerable members of society and exploited them. He used them to get what he wanted, when he wanted it — be it money, sex, or simply the power to control them. He used their addiction and their insatiable need for drugs to control them and, when that was not enough, he used fear, he used intimidation, he used his gun.”

The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Andy Colasurdo and Assistant United States Attorney Darwin Roberts. Mr. Colasurdo is a Deputy King County Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute gun cases in federal court.

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