Authorities target violent drug traffickers in series of Puget Sound busts

More than 80 “drug dealing conspirators” have been arrested over the past four months.

Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies carried out a widespread joint operation targeting alleged drug-trafficking rings linked to gun violence across King, Snohomish, Skagit, and Thurston counties on June 6, resulting in over 35 arrests.

The crackdown was the latest in a string of four operations over the past several months in Seattle, the Rainier and Kent valleys, and North Pierce County—areas identified as hotspots for drug and gun crime by the U.S. Department of Justice. Recent KUOW reporting showed that gun violence heavily impacts south Seattle and south King County.

“Over the last four months, more than 80 drug dealing conspirators moving meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl have been taken off our streets where they preyed on destructive addictions and used gun crime to further their trade,” said U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes in a statement. “For more than a year, local police worked with federal partners to build these cases, with the goal of addressing the shifting crime problems in South Sound communities.”

According to a DOJ press release, records filed in the case state that associates of the alleged traffickers arrested on June 6 were killed in various shootings around Seattle and south King County, while law enforcement wiretaps heard some of the arrested individuals talking about getting firearms after being shot at by rival gangs.

“The FBI is committed to holding violent gang members accountable for their actions,” said Special Agent in Charge Jay S. Tabb Jr., of the FBI’s Seattle Field Office, in a statement. “The level of violence committed by these individuals has been detrimental to the South Sound community for years. Today’s arrests mark a major step toward addressing this problem.”

Law enforcement obtained 12 pounds of heroin, over 2 kilos of cocaine, a pound of methamphetamine, and 41 firearms in the June 6 operation.

Agents and officers from the DEA, FBI, ATF, the King County Sheriff’s Office, and many other municipal law enforcement divisions participated in the four crackdowns, one of which resulted in the charging of 20 individuals in an inter-county heroin and methamphetamine distribution network. According to a DOJ press release, the four operations resulted in seizure of 75 guns, 95 pounds of methamphetamine, over 32 pounds of heroin, more than 7 pounds of a combination of crack and powder cocaine and ecstasy and fentanyl. More than $327,000 in cash and 22 vehicles were also seized.

More in News

Mary Lynn Pannen, founder and CEO of Sound Options, has consulted thousands of Washington families on geriatric care for 30 years. Photo courtesy of Sound Options.
Elder abuse cases are on the rise in Washington

Local agencies and geriatric care managers aim to increase public awareness about the epidemic.

The King County Library System Foundation is awarded a grant from Boeing

KCLSF receives an $80,000 grant from the Boeing Company

The Centralia Power Plant is a coal-burning plant owned by TransAlta which supplies 380 megawatts to Puget Sound Energy. It is located in Lewis County and slated to shut down by 2025. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo
National report outlines climate change’s course for the Northwest

More fires, floods and drought appear to be on their way for Washington state.

Mike Seal, left, and his son Ryan are owners of the Sigillo Cellars winery which is hoping to build a new production facility in downtown Snoqualmie. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Sigillo Cellars closes purchase on King Street Lot

Sigillo Cellars have purchased the vacant lot on the corner SE King Street in downtown Snoqualmie.

Legislators are working on several housing bills leading up to their 2019 session, including condo liability reform. Median sales prices of townhomes and low- to mid-rise condos were consistently and substantially lower than for single-family homes. Image courtesy of PSRC
Area legislators to focus on housing policy, funding in 2019 session

Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island) is sponsoring a condo liability reform bill.

King County adds 80 acres to Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area

Area governments and nonprofits purchased the remaining 80 acres of the 250 acre preservation area.

Police say porch piracy is primarily a crime of opportunity. Many criminals will see a package as they pass by and make quick, easy money. Kailan Manandic, photo illustration
‘Porch pirates’ plunder local packages

Eastside police departments spoke on the ‘porch pirate’ problem and ask locals to report the crime.

U-cut and pre-cut Christmas trees around the Snoqualmie Valley

As the holiday season approaches, several Snoqualmie Valley businesses are gearing up… Continue reading

The Giving Tree program marks season of giving in the Valley

The Giving Tree, a Kiwanis gift donation program, is returning to the Valley this month.

The Eastside strike team consisted of a dozen firefighters from local cities. They assisted with small brush fires and watched over a small community near Malibu as a fire raged on a nearby hillside. Photos courtesy of Jeff Storey and Dave McDaniel
Local firefighters aid in California wildfires

Firefighters from Eastside Fire & Rescue, Snoqualmie, Fall City and Duvall fire departments assisted.

Romaine lettuce, beef recalled just before Thanksgiving

23 people have been infected with a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria in 11 states.

Snoqualmie Council considers denying property tax increase, discusses budget fund allocations

The Snoqualmie City Council discussed not taking a 1 percent property tax increase for 2019.