Man using alias charged with cocaine dealing near Lynden

A Mexican citizen living in Whatcom County under a fake name has been charged with eight felonies for dealing and possessing cocaine, according to the sheriff’s office.

Prosecutors allege Gerardo Mendoza-Raya, 36, sold cocaine six times — Oct. 7, 9 and 15; Nov. 4, 6 and 14 — to a confidential informant or a detective working with the Northwest Regional Gang and Drug Task Force. Each time the informant came back with between 2 and 3 grams of cocaine.

Law enforcement arrested Mendoza-Raya on Nov. 20. They found 107.5 grams of cocaine in his home, and once he was taken to jail, an extra 1.9 grams were found hidden in two bindles in his shoe, according to the charges.

Mendoza-Raya, of 790 W. Pole Road, had fake driver’s licenses and “credentials,” according to a press release from the sheriff’s office. He’d been using the name Agustin Torres-Gomez, 43.

Since 2010, a man who goes by the Torres-Gomez name has been listed as a defendant seven times in relatively minor court cases in Western Washington’s municipal and district courts: Lynden, Lynnwood, Bellingham, Snohomish County, Skagit County and two cases in Whatcom County District Court.

According to the sheriff’s office, Mendoza-Raya has been using the alias for “several years.” He was charged this week in Superior Court — under the Torres-Gomez name — with six counts of cocaine delivery, possession of cocaine with intent to deliver and possession of cocaine. He’s also being held while federal authorities determine if he can stay in the country.