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Lake Stevens restaurant owner sentenced to 10 years in prison for running drug trafficking ring

By Jordan Duncan,


A Marysville woman who co-owned a restaurant in Lake Stevens was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison for her role in a trafficking ring that sold drugs out of the restaurant, U.S. Attorney Nick Brown announced.

Laura Rodriguez-Moreno, 46, sold methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl out of her restaurant in Lake Stevens, officials said. She has been in custody since she and five others were arrested on Sept. 1, 2020.

Rodriguez-Moreno’s teenage son and husband were also involved in the drug trafficking ring. Her husband, 39-year-old Jose Morales-Flores, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Oct. 19, 2021, but cut off his GPS monitoring bracelet and remains on the run.

At Friday’s hearing, a judge said that Rodriguez-Moreno had a leadership role in the large trafficking ring.

“Ms. Rodriguez-Moreno was distributing pound quantities of methamphetamine and thousands of fentanyl pills. But what is most shocking is that she had her teenage son engaging in drug distribution at her direction,” said Brown. “She and her husband put their restaurant and the security of their five children at risk when they became drug traffickers. Now those children are without their parents for significant time.”

In her plea agreement, Rodriguez-Moreno admitted to distributing more than 16 kilograms of methamphetamine and nearly a kilogram of fentanyl pills in Seattle and North Puget Sound communities.

According to court records, Rodriguez-Moreno directed her son to deliver 10 pounds of methamphetamine to a customer that was parked in the restaurant parking lot, just days after her son had been arrested with a large quantity of fentanyl pills himself.

Prosecutors noted that Rodriguez-Moreno did not suffer from drug addiction and that her main motivation in the drug ring was money. “Rodriguez-Moreno knew what these drugs would do to other families, other kids. But she was blinded by greed and only focused on how distributing these drugs would help her and her family, not the pain and suffering her actions would cause others, or even her own children if caught,” Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Andrew Colasurdo said in his sentencing memo.

Editor’s note : Laura Rodriguez-Moreno no longer owns the restaurant mentioned in this story, which is now under new ownership.

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