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Kent man sentenced to nine years in prison for dealing heroin
A U.S. District Court judge Oct. 22 sentenced a 39-year-old Kent man to nine years in prison for conspiracy to distribute heroin.
Ben Hunlock, of Kent, and Victory Hugo Gutama, 45, of Seattle, were arrested March 15 in north Seattle while engaged in a 2-pound heroin deal. Gutama was sentenced to eight years in prison on the same charge as Hunlock, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office media release.
Both men have multiple prior convictions for drug dealing. U.S. District Court Judge John C. Coughenour said the sentences were based, in part, on the men's history of drug dealing.
A Spokane man in February identified Hunlock as a source of heroin, according to court records. Hunlock agreed to supply the man, who was working with law enforcement officials, with one-half pound of heroin.
The Spokane man wore an audio transmitter when he went March 15 to Hunlock’s Kent residence to buy the drugs. Agents were listening as Hunlock revealed that the men would need to meet his drug supplier in north Seattle to pick up the heroin. As Hunlock and the Spokane man traveled north from Kent, agents heard Hunlock arrange to meet Gutama, his supplier, at “the ball field” in north Seattle.
The men pulled in to the parking lot at a soccer field adjacent to Lakeside School near North 145th Street. Two other vehicles arrived as part of the drug deal. Hunlock got into Gutama's car to pay for the drugs.
Concerned about the proximity of children on the soccer field, agents moved in and arrested Hunlock and Gutama. Agents also identified a 17-year-old juvenile who was riding in one of the cars, but she was not arrested.
Agents found 2 pounds of heroin in one of the cars. Gutama had a bag of $11,174 in cash, including $4,000 marked as "buy money" that the Spokane man had given to Hunlock.
Hunlock and Gutama pleaded guilty in May. Hunlock has five prior drug trafficking convictions since 1989. Gutama has four prior drug trafficking convictions since 2001.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.