Year-long investigation leads to takedown of drug trafficking ring in Washington

Year-long investigation leads to takedown of drug trafficking ring in Washington
Pills tainted with Fentanyl seized during the investigation (left) and Seized money wrapped and packaged, located within a hidden compartment of a vehicle (right)

SEATTLE — Twelve members of a drug trafficking group were arrested Wednesday following a year-long investigation and two grand jury indictments.

Officials said the group distributed fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine throughout the Puget Sound region.

>> Related: Police seize heroin, firearms and more after 11-month investigation in Bellingham

Content Continues Below

U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran announced the arrests and said the suspects will make appearances in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington Wednesday and Thursday.

“During the course of this investigation agents seized more than 20,000 pills pressed to look like oxycodone, but actually tainted with fentanyl,” Moran said. “I have had heartbreaking conversations with the parents of young people who died from fentanyl overdoses linked to counterfeit pills. We are making it a priority to get these deadly drugs off the streets.”

In addition to the pills, officials said they seized more than 6 pounds of heroin and nearly 9 pounds of methamphetamine. Police found some of the smuggled drugs hidden in compartments in the seats of vehicles.

Officials said the indictments charge a range of drug trafficking crimes. Click here for a list of those indicted.

Officials said due to the quantities involved, some of the defendants face potential mandatory minimum ten year sentences.

On Wednesday, police announced they seized nearly 6 pounds of methamphetamine, 8 pounds of heroin, 7,500 pills likely tainted with fentanyl, over $100,000 in cash, 4 firearms, and vehicles outfitted with hiding places for smuggling drugs and money.