Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Western District of Washington

For Immediate Release

March 29, 2012

Jenny A. Durkan, United States Attorney

Contact: Emily Langlie

Two Large Drug Trafficking Organizations Dismantled in Coordinated Raids

Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement Arrest Dozens for Trafficking Cocaine, Meth and Heroin

In the last 48 hours more than 40 people have been arrested in Western Washington and elsewhere in two distinct drug trafficking investigations. One investigation lead by the Drug Enforcement Administration resulted in 22 arrests on Wednesday, March 28, 2012. A second investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) resulted in an additional 23 arrests today. Both drug organizations were distributing substantial quantities of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine. On some occasions one group would obtain drugs from the other to meet the needs of their customers. The drugs were transported, sometimes in hidden compartments, from Mexico, through Arizona and California and into King, Pierce, Skagit and Snohomish Counties for distribution.

I commend the collaborative work of federal, state and local law enforcement in disrupting these organized criminal groups that trafficked drugs in our communities, said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. They sow the seeds of violence and addiction purely for profit.

With these arrests, we are sending a clear message to transnational criminal organizations that they are being actively pursued and will be shut down," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Matthew G. Barnes. On Wednesday, enforcement efforts removed 28 pounds of heroin destined for distribution, which is equivalent to over 2 million dosage units. This organization has wreaked havoc in our community by leaving behind a path of death and destruction through the large quantity of drugs they have distributed. The coordinated two-day effort is an example of DEA’s commitment to working with our law enforcement partners to combat drug trafficking throughout the region.

Today’s enforcement operation exemplifies what can happen when agencies work together to combat criminals and protect communities, said Kelvin Crenshaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Seattle Field Division.

Thanks to the combined efforts of some very tenacious and dedicated enforcement professionals – a number of drug dealers are now without their guns, off our streets and behind iron bars.

In Wednesday’s raid agents seized 28 pounds of heroin, 5 pounds of cocaine and two pounds of methamphetamine. Over the course of the investigation they seized more than $320,000 in cash, 44 pounds of heroin, 9 pounds of cocaine and 17 pounds of methamphetamine.

The totals for today’s operation are still being tallied. To date in this investigation agents have seized more than 20 pounds of heroin, more than 30 pounds of methamphetamine, more than $190,000 in cash and 31 firearms – including 10 assault style rifles.

The charges contained in the indictment 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.

Both of these operations were Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigations, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved.

The DEA led investigation involved officers and agents from South Snohomish County Drug Task Force and King County Sheriff’s Office – Shoreline SET with significant contributions from Washington Department of Corrections.

The ICE-HSI/ATF led investigation was a joint investigation with officers from Snohomish Police Department. Also participating were: DEA, Lake Stevens Police Department, Eastside Narcotics Task Force, Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force, Skagit County Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit, Everett Police Department, Monroe Police Department, Marysville Police Department, Seattle Police Department, Snohomish County Police Department, Washington State Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Offices of Field Operations and Border Patrol.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.