Renton man sentenced to 10 years over role in drug cartel

Image 1 of 2

(DEA Seattle)

 A Renton man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in a cartel drug distribution ring.

31-year-old Benjamin Fuentes was sentenced in the U.S. District Court in Seattle this week for his involvement in the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG)—one of the largest drug cartels in Mexico—for which he was a debt collector and drug distributor.

Fuentes was indicted in July 2020 with more than a dozen co-conspirators after authorities conducted an extensive wire-tap investigation.

"This defendant was immersed in the violence of this drug trafficking ring – at one point firing a gun into the air and threatening to kill everyone inside a residence as part of his debt collection threats," said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. "He and his coconspirators distributed massive amounts of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and potentially deadly fentanyl pills in King, Pierce, Lewis, and Snohomish Counties. This sentence removes him from the community he damaged with his violent drug trade."

According to court documents, Fuentes worked for a drug trafficking group connected to CJNG. He was a drug distributor, debt collector and translator for leaders of the group to communicate with English-speaking co-conspirators.

Federal agents tracked down a residence Fuentes shared with the group’s leader, where they found methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl pills, as well as firearms, ballistic vests and $28,000 in cash.

RELATED: Blood-soaked Idaho crime scene 'major challenge' for investigators, expert says

Get breaking news alerts in the FREE FOX 13 Seattle app. Download for Apple iOS or Android. And sign up for BREAKING NEWS emails delivered straight to your inbox.

Prosecutors pushed for the 10-year sentence, saying in one instance, Fuentes picked up a shipment of meth and some 7,000 fentanyl pills to distribute in the Puget Sound area.

Fuentes will spend 10 years in prison followed by four years of supervised release.