Bothell drug courier, boss sentenced in international scheme

Sadye Matula

BOTHELL — A Bothell gentleman and a Maple Valley lady, the two accused of using section in an worldwide drug trafficking operation, have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court docket in central California. U.S. lawyers say Jeff Allyn Walker, 50, was a drug courier, and Amy Kim Hartlmueller-Torres, 55, was […]

BOTHELL — A Bothell gentleman and a Maple Valley lady, the two accused of using section in an worldwide drug trafficking operation, have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court docket in central California.

U.S. lawyers say Jeff Allyn Walker, 50, was a drug courier, and Amy Kim Hartlmueller-Torres, 55, was a person of the men and women he reported to. Both equally have been sentenced final yr for drug offenses — conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute.

Past June, Hartlmueller-Torres acquired a sentence of 2¾ many years in jail.

Then, in December, a federal decide sentenced Walker to 2½ many years. At the time, he experienced now put in more than two yrs in jail.

Other suspects in the scenario are awaiting trial.

Walker played a tiny part in the trafficking plan, but his arrest was a turning stage in an investigation that led to costs towards far more than two dozen people today. Charging papers allege they exported hundreds of kilos of narcotics, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, from Mexico to Canada. They reportedly employed encrypted phones and coded language to coordinate the procedure.

In May perhaps 2018, Walker was driving a black Ford Explorer when California Freeway Patrol officers pulled him around for dashing, in accordance to court files. Inside the SUV, they uncovered 200 lbs of cocaine and uncovered that Walker allegedly had been regularly transporting medicine to Washington. Walker reportedly labored at the route of Hartlmueller and David Joner, 58, of Fall City.

According to court papers, Walker would travel down to Los Angeles to decide on up shipments of drugs and return to Bothell, in which he’d swap the automobile with Joner, who allegedly took the shipment to Canada.

Joner reportedly then dropped the automobile for Walker, with up to $15,000 in funds inside, prosecutors allege. Walker documented he had made the excursion about 30 situations, according to files. He explained he had been a struggling motor vehicle salesman in Seattle when Joner, previously a supervisor at the dealership, offered him a position transporting medications. Walker reported he “couldn’t move up an possibility to make some income,” detectives wrote in the lookup warrant.

In a sentencing memorandum, protection lawyer Peter Swarth argued the court docket need to grant Walker “compassion and mercy” in sentencing him. He stated that Walker was born in South Korea, where by he ran absent from his mom and dad and was placed in an orphanage. He was then adopted by a couple in Seattle, where by life was minimal better.

Hartlmueller-Torres also was an orphan who experienced been adopted in Washington. Defense attorney James Tedford II wrote she was seduced and fooled by Joner.

The two knew each individual other in large college and had reconnected in current years, right after a probability conference at a bank where she worked, according to court documents. Joner reportedly persuaded Hartlmueller-Torres to aid out with two small business ventures: the supposed creation of a three-wheeled vehicle known as a “Tri-Secta,” and then a logging small business, nevertheless he knew almost nothing about logging. Each failed.

Ultimately, Joner persuaded her to get element in the drug trafficking plan, Tedford wrote.

The investigation also pointed detectives to the accused dealers’ unknown make contact with in Canada and to Tye McNabb, a mechanic who allegedly mounted key compartments in vehicles, including Walker’s.

In sentencing memorandums, U.S. attorneys had advised 4 yrs for Walker and nearly six yrs for Hartlmueller-Torres.

Many others who ended up indicted, which includes Joner and McNabb, have a trial set for Aug. 2.

The situation was investigated by the Snohomish Regional Drug & Gang Task Drive, the FBI, the Royal Canadian Mounted Law enforcement and the Los Angeles Law enforcement Department.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431 [email protected] Twitter: @zachariahtb.


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