Task force takes down gang member

From the United States Attorney’s Office:

GANG MEMBER CONVICTED OF DRUG AND GUN CRIMES
Defendant Faces Enhanced Sentence for Possessing Gun in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking

ANDRES RENE RODRIGUEZ, 25, of Shoreline, Washington, was convicted today in U.S. District Court in Seattle on ten counts related to drug trafficking and gun possession.  One count, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime, means RODRIGUEZ faces an additional five years in prison on top of the sentence for the drug trafficking convictions.  RODRIGUEZ faces a range of five years to life in prison, when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman in June 2011.  The jury deliberated about five hours following a two day trial.

According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, in October and November of 2010, RODRIGUEZ sold oxycodone on three different occasions to a person working with law enforcement.  When agents and officers arrested RODRIGUEZ and searched his apartment on November 26, 2010, they found additional oxycodone about six inches away from a loaded handgun.  The serial number on the handgun had been obliterated.  RODRIGUEZ is a convicted felon, and thus was prohibited from possessing a firearm.  The search of the apartment also turned up cocaine.

RODRIGUEZ is member of the Sureno 13 street gang. According to records of the King County Sheriff’s Office Gang Unit, RODRIGUEZ has been involved in multiple incidents of gang-related weapons possession, threats, violence and witness intimidation.

The jury convicted RODRIGUEZ of three counts of distribution of oxycodone, possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, being a felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of being a felon in possession of ammunition, and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. 

In closing arguments prosecutors pointed out the close proximity of the gun and drugs in RODRIGUEZ’ apartment saying a gun “is a tool of the trade for drug traffickers… The apartment was the lair of a drug dealer – where he kept his dope, and where he kept his gun.”

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with the assistance of officers from the Seattle Police Department, Shoreline Police Department and King County Sheriff’s Office.
           
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mike Dion and Sunni Ko.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.