Drug pipeline 'has been shut down.' Statewide bust nets 29 arrests, guns, drugs

SEATTLE — Nearly 30 people were arrested during a two-day drug bust across five Washington counties targeting a Mexican drug cartel.

Federal officials said the cartel was bringing heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine into the state using a California business to launder the money and send it to Mexico.

“The dangerous pills containing fentanyl flowing through this pipeline operated by this Western Washington distribution network has been shut down,” Keith Weis, a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent, said in a statement.

On Wednesday and Thursday, more than 400 law enforcement officers served 51 warrants on more than 50 buildings and 35 vehicles.

Twenty-nine people were arrested, as well as the owner of the California business allegedly laundering money.

The group was allegedly selling the drugs, including fentanyl-laced oxycodone pills, in Pierce, King, Kitsap, Skagit and Snohomish counties.

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Thousands of pills were seized, as well as 39 guns and more than four kilos of heroin.

A few Washington State Patrol troopers had to be medically treated after being exposed to fentanyl while serving a warrant on a vehicle.

The investigation started 18 months ago in Bremerton.

Officials said the drug network was distributing drugs in Washington State, Oregon, California, Arizona, Utah, Tennessee and New York.

Several of those arrested were scheduled to make their first court appearance Friday.

Taken into custody were residents from Tacoma, Puyallup, Spanaway, Bonney Lake, Graham, Edgewood, Auburn, Federal Way, Kent, Seattle, Tukwila, Burlington, Everett, Lynwood and Snohomish.

Six of them were women; the rest were men. Ages ranged from 22 to 60.