Man with ‘Mexico cartel links’ used meat stall to shift £30k of substances a day

A businessman used his upholstery shop and meat market to help a £30,000 a day drug trafficking operation for a Mexican cartel in the US.

Julio Leal Parra, 47, worked closely with leaders of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel by using his business to help store drug shipments and launder vast amounts of cash, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern Washington.

The Sinaloa cartel, also known as CDS, are a notorious international drug trafficking, money laundering and organised crime organisation.

They are one of the largest and most powerful cartels operating in Mexico, along with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

Leal Parra is thought to have helped the drug trafficking “cell” by using his businesses to bring drugs from Arizona to Kennewick, Spokane, Idaho and Montana, according to The Olympian.

There have been 10 members of the conspiracy convicted so far, including Leal Parra’s nephew.

Leal Parra ran an upholstery business called Perfect Design and also owned SuKarne, a meat market in Kennewick.

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On his arrest, officers seized more than 60 pounds of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, including a single shipment of 33 pounds of meth.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern Washington, Leal Parra and his organisation brought 20 to 50 pound shipments of drugs into every few weeks from December 2016 to October 2019.

Chief U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian sentenced Leal Parra to nearly 16 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty in leading and organising the drug trafficking conspiracy, said the release. He also was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine.

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U.S. Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref said: “For years, Mr. Parra peddled life ravaging narcotics throughout our region with no regard for the communities, families, and individuals he was destroying. The lengthy sentence imposed reflects the need to hold drug traffickers accountable for the serious harm they cause our communities and the need to deter like-minded individuals from engaging in similar crimes.”

Donald M. Voiret, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Seattle Field Office said: “Over several years, this high-level drug dealer was responsible for huge quantities of drugs being transported frequently through Eastern Washington and multiple other states

“I want to thank all the partners involved in the FBI Southeast Washington Safe Streets Task Force for their commitment to this case. This sentence will remove Mr. Parra from our community for more than 15 years.”

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