Ephrata ringleader sentenced to 20 years on drug trafficking plea

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The Thomas S.. Foley U.S. Courthouse in Spokane.

SPOKANE — An Ephrata man must serve 20 years in federal prison after his plea last spring to drug possession, distribution and conspiracy charges.

Joshua Isaac Stine, 34, an enrolled gangmember, was among more than a dozen people arrested in Moses Lake in July 2019 after their indictments by a federal grand jury. He and 40-year-old Moses Lake resident Luis Manuel Farias-Cardenas were charged as ringleaders in a plan to sell methamphetamine and heroin.

Joshua Isaac Stine

At his arrest and subsequent property searches, Stine was found to have multiple pounds of methamphetamine and an arsenal of weapons, including assault rifles, in a stash house and at Stine’s primary residence in Ephrata.

Federal prosecutors said Stine was a known East Side Familia street gang member, who recruited and trained new members for drug trafficking and related crimes. Many of those recruits were named in the 2019 indictments and face federal sentencing later this month. Farias-Cardenas entered a guilty plea last September and is due to be sentenced in March.

Senior United States District Court Judge William Fremming Nielsen sentenced Stine on Wednesday to a 240-month term of imprisonment, followed 10 years of court supervision after he is released from federal prison.