Leader of "Operation Pink Tiger" Nets 10 Years in Prison
JAN 16 -- (Seattle) – DEA Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Arnold R. Moorin and the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington, Jeffrey Sullivan, announced that Javier Gastelum-Inzunza was sentenced on January 12, 2009 in U.S District Court to ten years in prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Gastelum-Inzunza was arrested in May 2008, as part of “Operation Pink Tiger.” The operation took it’s name from the original target of the probe who went by the nickname “ Tigre ,” and the fact that the cocaine was wrapped in distinctive pink cellophane. The organization was based in Burien , Washington and was responsible for distributing over 30 kilograms of cocaine per month in the greater Seattle area.
On March 25, 2008 , eight search warrants were executed and resulted in ten arrests and the seizure of two kilograms of cocaine and one pound of heroin. In addition, law enforcement seized three guns, eight cars and $40,000 in cash. On May 8, 2008, an additional seven search warrants were executed, which resulted in seven arrests, the seizure of more than 16 kilograms of cocaine, three guns and over $203,000 in cash. At the time of Gastelum-Inzunza’s arrest, he was found with more than $108,000 in cash.
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the King County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI.