A Whatcom County man who once told agents he smuggled pounds of cocaine across the border to Canada two or three times each week - and used his wife and kids to help - was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday, Oct. 19.
Estevan Olmos, 40, was caught at the border dropping off a man who tried to run into Canada, according to records filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle. He admitted to U.S. Border Patrol agents he would charge people about $500 each for rides to the border. He was not arrested.
Investigators found Olmos had a storage unit in Everson. Two days later the owner of the storage business said a woman and kids - Olmos' family - had dropped off suitcases overnight, according to the charges. After bringing in a drug-sniffing dog and getting a warrant, officers found about 42 pounds of cocaine in the unit. The drugs were destined for Canada.
Olmos was arrested the next day at a casino in Whatcom County. He admitted to smuggling cocaine across the border two or three times a week. Once, he confessed, he brought about 66 pounds of cocaine in a single shipment.
His defense attorneys and family argued, in court records, that Olmos spiraled into a depression when he found out about sexual abuse committed against someone close to him in 2011 - leading him to drink, lose his job, separate from his wife, and eventually turn to crime.
Prosecutors countered by arguing the seriousness of Olmos' offense: He smuggled cocaine at least 24 times across the border for a period of at least three months. The purity level of the smuggled cocaine was about 75 percent, versus the regular purity of street cocaine of 5 to 20 percent. Even at a lower purity level, the drugs found in the storage unit alone would have been worth $750,000.
In June, an accomplice in the smuggling, Adrian Osorio-Arroyo, was caught picking up the "merchandise" from the storage unit. He was sentenced to four years and three months in prison followed by deportation to Mexico.
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