A 39-year-old Kent man and a 45-year-old Seattle man were sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Seattle for arranging to sell over two pounds of heroin in a school parking lot near a Seattle soccer field on March 15th of this year.
Ben Hunlock was sentenced to nine years in prison and Victor Hugo Gutama received eight years. Both defendants have multiple prior drug convictions. Gutama had four previous drug trafficking convictions since 2001. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said the lengthy sentences were based, in part, on their history of drug dealing.
According to court records, Hunlock agreed to sell a half pound of heroin to a police informant from Spokane. The man, who was wearing an audio transmitter, went to Hunlock’s Kent home to buy the narcotics. Hunlock told the man that they would need to meet his supplier in north Seattle to pick up the drugs. Agents heard Hunlock arranging to meet Gutama, his supplier, at "the ball field."
The men drove into a parking lot at Lakeside Upper School near N. 145th St. Two other vehicles also pulled in.
Hunlock got into Gutama's car to pay for the drugs. Concerned about the proximity of young people playing on the soccer field, agents arrested Hunlock, Gutama and a third defendant, Teodoro Contreas. In one of the cars, agents found and seized two-and-a-half pounds of heroin. In Guatama’s car there was a bag containing $11,174 in cash. This included $4,000 of marked "buy money" provided by the Spokane man.
The defendants pleaded guilty in May 2010. Prosecuting attorney Lisca Borichewski noted to the court that Guatama posed a risk to the community. "During the defendant’s last arrest in 2004, state law enforcement officers searched his residence where six controlled buys were conducted, and recovered additional heroin, cocaine, currency, and a firearm. In the present case, the defendant arranged the sale of over 2 pounds of heroin to take place at the Lakeside school parking lot, with children playing nearby," she wrote in her sentencing memo."
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.