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Federal judge accepts Sanchez plea agreement

YAKIMA - This past Wednesday Judge Edward F. Shea of the United States District Court Eastern District of Washington accepted a plea agreement between U.S. Attorney Mary K. Dimke and Manuel Sanchez of Sunnyside.

Sanchez pled guilty to charges stemming from a July 2012 incident that occurred at Home Depot in Yakima. He was charged with seven counts related to dealing methamphetamine following a sting operation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

When law enforcement officials attempted to arrest him, Sanchez attempted to flee the scene and attempted to use his vehicle to strike a DEA agent. That agent used deadly force, shooting Sanchez in the face.

On Dec. 18, 2012 a plea agreement was filed with the courts. Sanchez agreed to a guilty plea to one of the seven charges filed against him, acknowledging that he knowingly distributed methamphetamine and that the amount he distributed was at least five grams of the controlled substance.

"The amount of methamphetamine involved in the three transactions was 80.4 grams of actual methamphetamine," Sanchez admits via the plea agreement, noting there were three different dates when undercover law enforcement officials met with Sanchez for a drug transaction.

He also admitted his actions on the date of his arrest "...recklessly created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily harm to DEA Agent Ashton, the other agents and officers present, the CS (confidential informant), as well as the public."

Agent Ashton is the DEA agent responsible for shooting Sanchez.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sanchez will serve 84 months in prison, which amounts to seven years, for the crime of selling methamphetamine.

Following his jail sentence, Sanchez agreed to four years of supervised release, as well.

Sanchez appeared in court this past Wednesday and Shea accepted the plea agreement, determining the agreement is consistent with the crime committed by Sanchez.

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