News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Coordinated Raids In Seattle Area And Bay Area Disrupts Large Drug Trafficking Organization

Conspirators Distributed Kilo Quantities of Cocaine, Meth and Heroin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2012

            Twenty people are in custody following the coordinated take down of a lengthy investigation into a cocaine, meth and heroin trafficking ring that stretched from San Francisco to Vancouver, Canada, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  The investigation, which utilized court authorized wire taps, revealed how the conspirators brought multi-kilo loads of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine into the Seattle area from California, and distributed it in Western Washington, or sent it north into Canada.  Most of the defendants taken into custody today will make their initial appearance on the charges at 2:30 today in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

Search warrants were executed today on 18 residences or businesses and multiple vehicles.  Law enforcement seized 24 pounds of methamphetamine, cocaine, crack cocaine and $35,000 in cash.  Over the course of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Seattle Police Department investigation, law enforcement seized more than $700,000 in cash, 11 kilos of cocaine, 40 pounds of methamphetamine, and four firearms.

“Organizations that think we cannot track their crimes across borders are wrong.  We will use all of our tools to shut down their operations and seize their profits,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  “I commend the tremendous collaboration by federal, state and local law enforcement in disrupting this drug ring.”

            “Today, over 24 pounds of methamphetamine was seized from one vehicle in this investigation, which has an estimated street value of over $1 million,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Matthew G. Barnes.  “This investigation illustrates the defendants’ ill-will and disregard for our community.  I want to commend the professionalism and commitment of the Seattle Police Department and the other agencies involved.”

     “Working together with our federal law enforcement partners in the DEA and other local agencies, we were able to intercept a significant amount of dangerous drugs before they hit Seattle streets.  It is noteworthy that this operation was made possible due to information obtained during a routine 'buy-bust' conducted by Seattle Police officers and detectives.  This is another example of how ordinary police work combined with law enforcement partnerships can yield exceptional results,” said Seattle Police Chief John Diaz.

            The defendants are charged with various federal crimes including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and/or conspiracy to engage in money laundering.  Those charged include:

  Jose Rodriguez-Rivera, 38, Lynnwood
Juan Siquiero-Gonzalez, 33, Federal Way
Luis Orozco-Lopez, 21, Sedro-Woolley
Uriel Amin Martinez-Botello, 31, Everett
  Hugo Gomez-Barrada, 29, Seattle     
Lorenzo Rodriguez-Rivera, 35, Mountlake Terrace
Elmer Alvarez-Ochoa, 39, Lynnwood
Ramon Barrera, 35, Mountlake Terrace
Pedro Lopez, 38, Seattle
Jose Rodriquez-Lujan, 36, Kent
Mario Gamiz-Yescas, 33, Kirkland
Gerson Fletes-Ramos, 30, Shoreline
Dagoberto Herrera-Avila, 37, Sea-Tac
Javier Cabrera-Arteaga, 26, Shoreline
Manuel Mejia-Garay, 32, Seattle
Enrique Munoz-Andres, 32, Pacific
Juan Gomez-Diaz, 37, Des Moines,
Timothy Rishor, 36, Edmonds
Joshua Abellera, 37, Shoreline
Mayra Mendez-Rodriguez, 28, Mountlake Terrace

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.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. 

In addition to DEA and the Seattle Police Department, the following agencies provided substantial assistance:  Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations,  United States Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Eastside Narcotics Task Force, King County Sherriff’s Office,  Kirkland Police Department, Lynnwood Police Department, Monroe Police Department, Skagit County Sheriff’s Office, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force, South Snohomish County Narcotics Task Force and Washington Department of Corrections.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Karyn Johnson and Mark Parrent.

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