You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Washington

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Ten Arrested Following Two Year Investigation of South Sound Drug Trafficking Ring

Leader allegedly used Landscaping Firm as Cover for Drug Trafficking Activity

          A Drug Enforcement Administration led task force conducted raids at 14 locations across King and Pierce Counties, as well as locations in Oregon, following a two-year investigation of drug trafficking, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  Law enforcement searched residential and business locations in Maple Valley, Enumclaw, Ravensdale, Auburn, Kent, Federal Way, Graham, Tacoma, Puyallup, and Bellevue.  Additional searches and arrests occurred in Springfield, Oregon.  The defendants will appear in U.S. District Court in Tacoma today and tomorrow during the 2:30 PM initial appearance calendar.

            In addition to searches at various properties, thirteen vehicles associated with the drug trafficking organization are also being searched.  Members of the group allegedly transported drugs and money in hidden compartments of various vehicles.  The businesses searched include a landscaping business, an auto wrecking yard, a motorsports/boat business and a pawn shop. 

            Over the course of the investigation, and with today’s searches, law enforcement has seized more than $350,000 in cash, more than thirty pounds of methamphetamine, cocaine and firearms.

            Those arrested on the indictment today include: BERNABE NAVA AMBRIZ, 37, of Maple Valley; VINCENT PHILLIP CORSALETTI, 51, of Springfield, Oregon; SERAFIN MENDOZA CABRERA, 37, of Federal Way; SAUL MENDOZA CABRERA, 35, of Kent; ADAN GUTIERREZ RASO, 22, of Kent; JESSICA CARVER, 46, of Puyallup; and THOMAS RADFORD, 34, of Graham.  Three additional defendants were arrested on criminal complaints: CLINTON BJORNSON, 34, of Bellevue; QUINN HINKLE, 45, of Tacoma; and JOEL CHAVEZ, 21, of Maple Valley.

            The charges contained in the indictment and criminal complaints 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. 

          The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration in Tacoma and Eugene, Oregon, with assistance from the West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Task Force (WESTNET), Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, Portland (Oregon) Police Bureau, and Springfield (Oregon) Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Marci Ellsworth and Amy Jaquette.

Drug Trafficking
Updated November 15, 2016