Prosecutors say 30-year-old Jesus Villagomez-Ledezma was running a meth lab from his Bonney Lake and Sumner homes. He and his girlfriend, 38-year-old Rosa Cuevas-Valencia, are accused of using the homes to convert liquid methamphetamine into crystal meth.
Both were charged Wednesday with unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Villagomez-Ledezma was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm while not being a citizen of the United States, according to prosecutors.
Both pleaded not guilty.
On Tuesday, members of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department's Special Investigations Unit and Clandestine Lab Team served search warrants on two of Villagomez-Ledezma's homes and found evidence of a conversion lab scattered through the house and backyard, according to prosecutors.
The house contained numerous coolers, which are used to avoid detection while smuggling liquid meth across the Mexican border.
"In recent years we've succeeded in nearly eliminating methamphetamine manufacturing labs from Pierce County," Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in a news release. "These conversion labs pose a new threat we are aggressively prosecuting, just as we did the manufacturing labs."
Detectives also found "multiple pounds of meth, four guns, and several ledgers used to keep track of drug transactions," according to police. The refrigerator, oven and eating areas were contaminated with items covered in meth residue.
An 8-year-old and a 12-year-old who were living in the residences were placed into protective custody.
Villagomez-Ledezma is being held in lieu of $600,000 bail and Cuevas-Valencia's bail was set at $100,000.