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

Kent to restrict parking in Mill Creek neighborhood to keep away train commuters

Second parking enforcement officer to help patrol streets

Legislature’s black members form Black Caucus on MLK Day

Group includes Kent’s Debra Entenman

Puget Sound Fire call report

Type, number of incidents

‘Super blood Moon’ eclipse beams over Auburn

Stargazers in Auburn caught a rare glimpse of a “super blood moon”… Continue reading

Residents at SeaTac’s Firs Mobile Home Park received a closure notice for October 31, but most have chosen to stay in their homes. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
South King County coalition targets affordable housing

Rent and housing prices hit south end communities hard; SeaTac, Tukwila, Kent, Burien, Renton and Auburn are working to create organization like Eastside’s ARCH

Microsoft will invest $500 million toward regional housing

Mayors of nine cities — including Auburn, Kent, Federal Way, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Issaquah, Renton and Sammamish — have pledged to help

Responding to a cry for help

United Way of King County’s Family Resource Exchange serves hundreds of homeless at Green River College

Leaving proud and grateful

Fain offers former colleagues the best on his last day as state senator, looks forward to what’s ahead

Most Read