SPOKANE — The suspect in Wenatchee’s largest-ever illicit drug confiscation now faces charges in federal court.
Hector Vicente Briseno-Medina, 31, made his first appearance Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Spokane on a federal complaint charging him with possessing 500 grams or more of methamphetamine for the purpose of sale.
His arrest Friday by Wenatchee police and the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations office, at a home in the 600 block of Orondo Avenue, netted roughly 25 pounds of meth, five pounds of cocaine and nine pounds of heroin, police said. The stash was valued at $1.5 million, with police calling it the biggest bust of hard drugs in the city’s history.
Local police accompanied a Homeland Security agent to the home to question a resident over a car that had been stopped along Interstate 5 earlier in the week and found to contain drugs. Agents believed the car had ties to Wenatchee, and later said Briseno-Medina could have links to Mexican drug cartels.
The affidavit spelling out the case against Briseno-Medina was sealed in federal court, under a motion from Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Van Marter. “… Unsealing the affidavit at this time would jeopardize or hinder the continuing case investigation,” Van Marter wrote in her motion.
Police said Briseno-Medina is a Mexican national with a history of immigration violations. A defendant of the same name was imprisoned for six months in 2004 and then deported after an arrest in Oregon for meth manufacture and delivery. He attempted to reenter the country in 2008 and was arrested a mile north of Mexican border in California when his group of four men tripped a Border Patrol seismic detector. That reentry drew a two-year prison sentence followed by deportation.
Briseno-Medina was turned over to U.S. marshals Tuesday and faces further court hearings this afternoon and Friday.