More on the Mendoza pot-smuggling sentencing

Here’s more detail on the sentencing of David Mendoza, owner of Pazzo’s Pizzeria on Eastlake Avenue E.

A statement about the sentencing from the U.S. Attorney’s Office is here.

Turns out Pazzo’s was NOT included in the property Mendoza forfeited as part of his plea agreement as was reported by the Seattle Weekly. Former Mendoza property that now belongs to the feds is located in Bellevue, Tacoma and Deer Park, Wash., as well as a movie theater in Bend, Ore. According to the U.S. Attorney’s statement: “Mendoza admits these properties were purchased with the proceeds of the drug conspiracy.”

According to the statement, U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly told Mendoza at the sentencing:

“You truly did have all the opportunities in the world – President of Garfield High School, you got a degree, — and then you got involved in drugs…. It’s tragic…. You don’t have anybody to blame but yourself.”

The U.S. Attorney’s statement says Mendoza “was identified as the leader of a conspiracy to smuggle multiple 100 kilo loads of BC Bud marijuana into the US by commercial trucks and by helicopter.”

The statement also says Mendoza admitted responsibility for smuggling:

  • A 400 kilo load of B.C. Bud caught at the Blaine border crossing in April 2003
  • A load of over 1,000+ kilos of marijuana imported via helicopter in 2005
  • Additional unspecified amounts of marijuana seized in 2006

The statement says: “Mendoza admits he is responsible for importing and distributing thousands of pounds of marijuana in Washington and elsewhere.”

The two prosecutors in the case, Assistant United States Attorney Susan M. Roe and Roger Rogoff, say that at one point Mendoza “regularly used his aging parents to move money for him.”