News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Lakewood Man Convicted Of Gun And Drug Charges As Part Of White Center ‘Hot Spot’ Initiative

Defendant Sold Shotgun, and Later Meth while Armed with Firearm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2012

            In one of the first federal cases to go to trial from “Operation Center of Attention,” a federal jury deliberated four hours before convicting a Lakewood man of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.  ROMAN ROSAS-MARTINEZ, 31, of Lakewood, Washington, was arrested in October 2011, as part of a federal crackdown on crime in the White Center neighborhood of King County.  When sentenced on July 13, 2012 by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones, ROSAS-MARTINEZ faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison. 

            According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, in September 2011 ROSAS-MARTINEZ, first sold a shotgun to a person working with law enforcement.  Following that deal, ROSAS-MARTINEZ indicated he had relatives who could sell the person methamphetamine.  A drug deal was set up for October 12, 2011, with ROSAS-MARTINEZ and his associates meeting with the purchaser at a storage facility in White Center.  As the conspirators removed about 10 kilograms of methamphetamine from a hidden compartment in their car, they were arrested by law enforcement.  Three handguns were recovered. One of the guns belonged to ROSAS-MARTINEZ.

            “Illicit drug distributors are concerned with one thing, making money,” said Brad Bench, HSI Seattle acting special agent in charge. “They don’t care about the lives they destroy or the children they get hooked on meth. HSI is dedicated to dismantling the illicit drug trade and bringing those responsible to justice.”

            “Operation Center of Attention” was a three month, coordinated effort targeting firearms and violent repeat offenders in the White Center area of King County.  In all more than 50 people were arrested, 70 guns, 51 lbs of methamphetamine, 2 lbs of crack cocaine and more than 10 lbs of powder cocaine were taken off the street.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The investigation was a coordinated joint effort by ATF, the King County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigation (HSI), the Seattle Police Department, the King County Metro Transit Police, Washington State Department of Corrections, Washington State Liquor Control Board and the Eastside Narcotics Task Force.

            The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Justin Arnold and Mark Parrent. 

 

 

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