SEATTLE, Wash. — 1 of 3 men indicted in a federal court in February of 2021 and arrested under suspicion of multiple counts of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl has been sentenced to 48 months in custody with credit for time served and 3 years of supervised release.
According to records in US District Court in Seattle, Gorge Ortiz’s guilty plea was accepted and sentencing issued on March 25th.
The 2 other men, Jaime Hernandez-Hernandez, age 21, of Ferndale, and Stanley Stubbs, age 51, of Bellingham, have both had their guilty pleas accepted by the court and are awaiting their sentencings.
In addition to Ortiz’s custody sentence, the following were ordered forfeited.
- $19,619 seized on or about January 5, 2021
- $1,320 seized on or about February 23, 2021 from Ortiz’s residence
- $386 seized on or about February 23, 2021 from a vehicle parked at Ortiz’s residence
- $180 seized on or about February 23, 2021 from Ortiz’s vehicle
- a black 2018 BMW M3
An undercover investigation involving federal and local agencies revealed the 3 men were responsible for the distribution of thousands of pills tainted with potentially deadly fentanyl. It was reported that over the course of the investigation law enforcement seized thousands of fentanyl pills and pounds of heroin and methamphetamine.
On February 23, 2021, 8 search warrants were executed and law enforcement seized more than 5,000 fentanyl pills.
Due to the amount of fentanyl involved, all 3 men faced mandatory minimum 10-year sentences if convicted.
The investigation was conducted by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Bellingham Residence Office, which is comprised of DEA, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations, and US Customs and Border Protection. Local law enforcement agencies assisted with the arrests and search warrants executed, including Whatcom County SWAT, Washington State Patrol SWAT, Homeland Security Special Response Team, Skagit County Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit, Ferndale Police and Lynden Police.