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Woman who dealt drugs from her Lake Stevens restaurant sentenced to ten years in prison
Husband and son also involved in drug trafficking ring; husband disappeared after sentencing, his whereabouts are unknown
“She was distributing pound quantities of methamphetamine and thousands of fentanyl pills. But what is most shocking is that she had her teenage son engaging in drug distribution at her direction.” U.S. Attorney Nick Brown.
A 46-year-old woman who trafficked drugs out of a downtown Lake Stevens restaurant she co-owned was sentenced today to ten years in prison for distributing methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown.
The fentanyl and methamphetamine trafficking was a family affair, with the parents and teenage son bringing in shipments from Mexico via California and redistributing the narcotics through a regional affiliate of a larger out-of-state drug trafficking organization.
While mom is headed for ten years and son received probation, dad is either on the run or …at rest. Fed wiretaps recorded family angst after the father reported that he’d been robbed at gunpoint in California, an episode that caused a rift between suppliers. The father’s tracking device stopped working directly after he was sentenced but before he was required to report to prison.
Ahead on the 2020 bust, federal law enforcement observers setup in positions around the Lake Stevens restaurant
located at 20th Street and Hartford Drive and listened/photographed as Rodriguez-Moreno directed her son to deliver ten pounds of methamphetamine to a customer parked at her restaurant, Fuente de Café — just days after her son had been arrested with a large amount of fentanyl pills.
Laura Rodriguez-Moreno has been in custody since she and five coconspirators were arrested on September 1, 2020.
At today’s sentencing hearing the judge said Rodriguez-Moreno’s sentence reflected her leadership role in a large drug trafficking ring.
“But more important than any other factor was that she involved her teen-age son in drug dealing, just days after he had been arrested” the judge said.
“She and her husband put their restaurant and the security of their five children at risk when they became drug traffickers. Now those children are without their parents for significant time.”
Law enforcement located the traffickers during investigation of a wide-ranging drug trafficking conspiracy.
Members of the conspiracy distributed fentanyl, meth, and heroin in Lake Stevens and North Puget Sound communities.
When law enforcement arrested Rodriguez-Moreno and her associates, they seized another 17 kilos of meth, nearly two kilos of heroin, thousands of fentanyl pills, three firearms, and more than $100,000 cash.
Prosecutors noted in their sentencing memo that Rodriguez-Moreno did not suffer from clouded judgement due to drug addiction. Her motivation was money.
On October 19, 2021, Rodriguez-Moreno’s husband, Jose Morales-Flores, was sentenced to ten years in prison. However, instead of reporting to prison his GPS monitoring bracelet stopped reporting and he became a fugitive. He is still being sought by law enforcement.
This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force, Seattle Police Department, FBI and the Skagit Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit. The investigation was supported by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).