Arlington drug trafficking ring leader sentenced to 15 years in prison

Seattle — The leader of a violent, prolific drug trafficking ring was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Tuesday.

Cesar Valdez-Sanudo, 36 years old, pleaded guilty in June 2022 to distributing controlled substances, committing money laundering, and carrying guns in connection to drug trafficking.

“Mr. Valdez-Sanudo led a violent ring of drug traffickers and buried kilos of meth, heroin, and fentanyl on his Arlington property, along with more than $300,000 cash – proceeds from the harm he spread across the community,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. “This is a long prison sentence, but given the harm these drugs are doing in our community, it is the appropriate sanction.”

The drug ring was indicted in December 2020 after a lengthy wiretap investigation. Law enforcement seized around 143 pounds of methamphetamine, 15 pounds of heroin, 35,000 suspected fentanyl pills, 24 firearms, and nearly $778,000.

Valdez-Sanudo laundered more than $1 million through casinos. He also purchased property and cars to launder money.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Amy Jaquette and C. Andrew Colasurdo.