DOJ: Bothell drug dealer sentenced 10 years for involvement in 2020 drug ring takedown

A Bothell man who was involved in a major drug ring bust in 2020 was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

36-year-old Gabriel Vasquez-Ruiz has been in custody since 2020’s drug ring takedown, where authorities seized more than 247 pounds of meth, 35 pounds of heroin, 42,000 fentanyl pills, 24 firearms and more than $625,000 in cash and bank accounts. According to court records, Vasquez-Ruiz was a high-volume distributor in the drug ring, making him able to purchase meth by the pound for his customers.

According to the DOJ, Vasquez-Ruiz sold pounds of meth to an undercover agent on multiple occasions in early 2019. In Nov. 2020, police discovered Vasquez-Ruiz agreed to trade half a kilo of cocaine for an SUV after intercepting his conversations.

Vasquez-Ruiz pleaded guilty on May 3, 2022 to federal and state charges. 

Prosecutors asking for a 10-year sentence noted that he has been involved in major drug deals for many years:

"He did not simply sell small amounts of drugs to support his own habit. Rather, he worked alongside high-ranking members of a large transnational drug organization, selling significant quantities of drugs and at points supplying the organization with cocaine."

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After he finishes his 10-year sentence, Vasquez-Ruiz will be on supervised release for an additional five years.

This investigation was lead by multiple law enforcement agencies including the DEA, Tacoma Residence Office in partnership with Tahoma Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Kent Police Department, Homeland Security, SeaTac Police Department, Tacoma Police Department, Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force, the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the IRS.