The King County Sheriff's Office including Shoreline Police participated Wednesday in a Drug Enforcement Administration operation to arrest 20 people in the Seattle region allegedly involved in trafficking heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.
The coordinated raids in a DEA and Seattle Police investigation netted three Shoreline residents, Gerson Fletes-Ramos, 30, Joshua Abellera, 37, and Javier Cabrera-Arteaga, 26, according to a press release by the office of the U.S. Attorney for Western Washington.
The probe involved court-authorized wiretaps, which authorities alleges revealed how the conspirators brought large loads of the drugs into the Seattle area from California, and distributed it in Western Washington, or sent it north into Canada. Most of the suspects were arrested Wednesday morning and were scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle Wednesday afternoon.
The federal press release said search warrants were executed on 18 residences or businesses and several vehicles. Police and federal agents seized 24 pounds of methamphetamine, cocaine and $35,000 in cash. Over the course of the 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,” U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said in the release. “I commend the tremendous collaboration by federal, state and local law enforcement in disrupting this drug ring.”
The defendants are charged with various federal crimes including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and/or conspiracy to engage in money laundering. In addition to Gamiz-Yescas, those charged include:
- Jose Rodriguez-Rivera, 38, Lynnwood
- Mario Gamiz-Yescas, 33, Kirkland
- 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
- Dagoberto Herrera-Avila, 37, Sea-Tac
- Manuel Mejia-Garay, 32, Seattle
- Enrique Munoz-Andres, 32, Pacific
- Juan Gomez-Diaz, 37, Des Moines
- Timothy Rishor, 36, Edmonds
- Mayra Mendez-Rodriguez, 28, Mountlake Terrace
In addition to DEA and the Seattle Police Department, the following agencies provided assistance: Immigration and Customs Enforcemen -- 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.