Four from Renton among those facing trafficking charge

More than a dozen people, including four who live in Renton, face federal cocaine trafficking charges following a year-long investigation into the Rojas drug-trafficking organization operating in the Seattle area and in eastern Idaho, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Using court authorized wiretaps, law enforcement tracked the activities of the drug organization and made arrests as the Seattle area leader took delivery of 15 kilos of cocaine. Fifteen people have been indicted by a federal grand jury in the Western District of Washington. Additionally, six people are in state or immigration custody.

Over the past month authorities searched seven locations in Western Washington and seized 20 kilos of cocaine, 16 pounds of methamphetamine, approximately $940,000 in cash, and numerous cars and boats.

“This organization was moving large quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico into our community,” said U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Sullivan in the press release. “Some of these defendants were supplying drugs to street gangs that prey on our kids, and threaten our safety.”

Those indicted from Renton, according to the press release, are Daryl Shears, 43, Jose Vidal-Barraza, 21, Nestor Cruz-Santiago, 22, and Maura Meza, 24.

The conspiracy counts are punishable by 10 years to life in prison. Possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute is punishable by five to 40 years in prison.

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