News and Press Releases

Six Arrested , $260,000 Cash and Multiple Pounds of Heroin and Cocaine seized in King and Snohomish Counties

April 9, 2007

Six people were arrested in early morning raids on a heroin and cocaine distribution ring operating throughout King and Snohomish Counties. The arrests come following a nine month investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force (SRDTF). As part of the probe, investigators used a confidential informant and court authorized wire taps of the lead defendant’s telephone. Investigators allege the organization was bringing heroin and cocaine up from Mexico and distributing it in the two counties.

The leader of the drug distribution organization told the informant he was “untouchable” by law enforcement. The case name for the operation became “Los Intocables” or “The Untouchables.” The ring leader, JAVIER SANCHEZ-VASQUEZ was recently enrolled at the University of Washington - Bothell.

Those arrested this morning will make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Seattle this afternoon at 2:30. A grand jury has indicted these defendants:

JAVIER SANCHEZ-VASQUEZ, 27, of Bothell, Washington
JOSE VASQUEZ-CONTRERAS, 20, of Bothell, Washington
GABRIEL RAMIREZ CASTRO, 30, of Des Moines, Washington
MACRINO ACEVEDO-CUEVAS, 26, of Shoreline, Washington
RODOLFO NAVARRO-GOMEZ, 27, of Sumner, Washington

In addition to searching numerous vehicles, search warrants were served at various addresses in both King and Snohomish Counties. 23 pounds of heroin, 33 pounds of cocaine, and approximately $260,000 cash were seized in the searches.

“I am pleased that law enforcement has put this drug organization moving multiple pound quantities of cocaine and heroin out of business,” stated Jeffrey C. Sullivan, United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington.

Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Rodney Benson stated, “Today we have dismantled a drug trafficking cell which brought significant amounts of cocaine and heroin from Mexico into Washington State and Snohomish County. The DEA, working with our federal and state law enforcement partners are committed to bringing to justice, those organizations whose mission is to pollute our communities with drugs for profit.”

The United States Marshal’s Service’s Fugitive Task Force assisted in this investigation. The task force was able to locate and arrest GABRIEL RAMIREZ CASTRO this morning.

Also assisting the investigation were officers from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Kirkland Police Department and Marysville Police Department.

An indictment contains allegations that have not yet been proven at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.

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 is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Adam Cornell and Assistant United States Attorney Douglas Whalley. Mr. Cornell is a Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor specially designated to handle drug prosecutions in federal court.

For additional information please contact Adam Cornell at (206) 553-7970 or after April 15, 2007, Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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