Two Large Drug Trafficking Organization Dismantled in Coordinated Raids
MAR 29 – (Seattle, Washington) – In the last 48 hours, more than 40 people have been arrested in western Washington and elsewhere in two distinct drug trafficking investigations. One investigation, led by the DEA, resulted in 22 arrests on Wednesday, March 28, 2012. A second investigation, also led by the DEA, as well as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms & Explosives (ATF) resulted in an additional 23 arrests today.
Both drug organizations were distributing substantial quantities of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine. On some occasions one group would obtain drugs from the other to meet the needs of their customers. The drugs were transported sometimes in hidden compartments, from Mexico, through Arizona and California and into King, Pierce, Skagit and Snohomish Counties for distribution.
“With these arrests, we are sending a clear message to transnational criminal organizations that they are being actively pursued and will be shut down,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Matthew G. Barnes. “On Wednesday, enforcement efforts removed 28 pounds of heroin destined for distribution , which is equivalent to over two million dosage units. This organization has wreaked havoc in our community by leaving behind a path of death and destruction through the large quantity of drugs they have distributed. Th e coordinated two-day effort is an example of DEA’s commitment to working with our law enforcement partners to combat drug trafficking throughout the region.”
In Wednesday’s raids agents seized 28 pounds of heroin, five pounds of cocaine and two pounds of methamphetamine. Over the course of the investigation they seized more than $320,000 in cash, 44 pounds of heroin, nine pounds of cocaine and 17 pounds of methamphetamine.
The totals for today’s operation are still being tallied. To date in this investigation, agents have seized more than 20 pounds of heroin, more than 30 pounds of methamphetamine, more than $190,000 in cash and 31 firearms- including 10 assault style rifles.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Both of these operations were Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigations, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved.
The DEA led investigation involved officers and agents from South Snohomish County Drug Task Force and King County Sheriff’s Office-Shoreline SET with significant contributions from Washington Department of Corrections.
The DEA/HSI/ATF led investigation was a joint investigation with officers from Snohomish Police Department. Additional participating agencies: Lake Stevens Police Department, Eastside Narcotics Task Force, Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force, Skagit County Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit, Everett Police Department, Monroe Police Department, Marysville Police Department, Seattle Police Department, Snohomish County Police Department, Washington State Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Offices of Field Operations and Border Patrol.