Leader of drug trafficking ring pleads guilty

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) The leader of a drug trafficking ring who continued to run the operation after fleeing to Mexico has pleaded guilty.

U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes says Jesus Enrique Palomera sold drugs and guns in the Tacoma area as early as 2010.

Hayes says Palomera admitted in his plea agreement that he directed more than 50 kilos of methamphetamine to be transported from Mexico up through California and Oregon to Washington state. He continued to be involved in the drug distribution in 2014 and 2015.

Palomera was taken into custody in Mexico in June 2015 and was extradited to the U.S. in July 2016.

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He faces 10 years to life in prison when he's sentenced on Feb. 9, 2018.

Palomera's partner, coconspirator, James Roberts, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2015. Roberts owned an auto body shop in Lakewood, Washington that was central to the drug trafficking ring.