News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Nine Arrested For Gun And Drug Trafficking

DEA and Seattle Police get 14 Firearms, Pounds of Heroin and Meth off the Streets

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2012

            A Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force with significant leadership from the Seattle Police Department arrested nine people over the last 24 hours following a month-long investigation of drug and gun trafficking by an Everett, Washington based criminal group.  Four of those arrested are being charged in federal court with conspiracy to distribute heroin and being illegal aliens in possession of firearms.  Five additional defendants face charges in state court.  The defendants made their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Seattle today.

Over the course of the month-long investigation law enforcement seized nearly three pounds of heroin and nearly one pound of methamphetamine.  Fourteen firearms were purchased by a person working with law enforcement: seven shotguns, two rifles and five handguns.  Some of the weapons had been reported stolen in jurisdictions as widespread as Tacoma and Brier, Washington.  The defendants charged in federal court include: JUAN VELASCO SAN JUAN, 35, and  GUMERCINDO GUZMAN TORRES, 39, both of Everett, Washington; EDER MENDOZA PINO, 25, of Monroe, Washington, and JESUS DOMINGUEZ DURAN, 25, of Lynnwood, Washington.

“These arrests illustrate the connection between the international drug trade and gun violence. This deadly combination boils down to two things: greed and power. The cooperative effort in this investigation underscores DEA’s commitment to aggressively pursue dangerous criminal elements to keep our communities safe,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Matthew G. Barnes.

 “This particular criminal enterprise was trafficking drugs and firearms interchangeably, said Seattle Police Narcotics Lieutenant Mike Kebba.  “This is a problem on many different levels. Puget Sound gun owners can help prevent deadly weapons from getting in the hands of local criminals by practicing safe and secure storage of their firearms.”

If convicted the defendants face a mandatory minimum five years in prison and up to 40 years in prison.  The charges contained in the complaint 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.Return to Top

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