Officers arrest 12 people in South Sound drug trafficking raids

Bust includes three Kent men; search of four Kent homes

A dozen people arrested Tuesday as more than 150 law enforcement officers and agents fanned out across the Puget Sound region to dismantle two drug trafficking organizations.

Officers searched a dozen homes (four in Kent) and multiple vehicles in connection with the two rings, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release. Officers seized 22 pounds of meth, one pound of heroin, $48,000 cash and more than 40 firearms.

Twelve people are in custody, arrested on two different grand jury indictments charging trafficking of both methamphetamine and heroin. The arrests follow two wire-tap investigations and grew out of an earlier investigation that resulted in more than 20 arrests in March. The defendants will make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court Tuesday afternoon in Tacoma.

“Once again, federal, state and local law enforcement partners have come together to address the drug and gun crime plaguing communities in the South Sound,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes in the news release. “The two groups arrested today have been charged with serious crimes involving methamphetamine, heroin and guns.”

As part of the investigation prior to Tuesday’s raids, officers seized more than 65 pounds of meth from one of the drug organizations during traffic stops along the Interstate 5 corridor. In March 2017, law enforcement stopped a car with 25 pounds of meth. In three other stops in January and August of 2017 and in March of 2018, officers seized as much as 14 pounds of meth from hidden compartments in “load cars.”

“These highly coordinated operations are purposely designed to disrupt the controlling elements who are responsible for importing dangerous amounts of methamphetamine and heroin into Western Washington,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith R. Weis.

Law enforcement searched five homes – two in Federal Way and one each in Auburn, Des Moines and Kent – in connection with the reported drug trafficking arrests of four people.

They are: Jaime Astorga Vega, 31, of Federal Way; Jose Alvarez Sanchez, 25, of Kent; Javier Garcia Rodriguez, 34, of Auburn; and Yajaira Andrade Diaz, 30, of Des Moines.

In the second indictment, eight people are charged for allegedly trafficking both methamphetamine and heroin.

They are: Prisciliano Pascacio Pacheco, 28, of Kent; Danny Avila, 28, of Enumclaw; Jeffrey A. Anonson, 47, of Kent; Margarito Torres Valdovinos, 24, of Seattle; Frederick Clayton Bailey, 63, of Ravensdale; Alicia Lee Robertson, 43 of Lakewood; Trinidad Ramirez Ramirez, 27, of Black Diamond; and Ismael Garcia Valenzuela, 24, of Thermal, Calif.

In connection with the second group, law enforcement searched three homes in Kent, as well as homes in Marysville, Seattle, Enumclaw and Lakewood.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved.

More in News

Robert Morrison enters guilty plea to all charges

The former martial arts studio owner remains in custody. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 21.

King County Executive Dow Constantine addresses One Table members at the group’s Aug. 3 meeting at Seattle City Hall. Photo by Josh Kelety
One Table Has No Clear Game Plan for Regional Homelessness

Seattle and King County’s joint task force to address the crisis still only has vague strategies.

An artistic representation of what the “after” would look like for the Williams and South 2nd streets intersection, one of the big projects in the Six-Year Transportation Plan. Courtesy of City of Renton.
City begins updating transportation plan

The community is invited to a public hearing during the Aug. 20 Renton City Council meeting.

A King County detective was suspended for attacking an Uber driver back in 2017 while off-duty. Photo by SounderBruce/Wikipedia Commons
King County Suspends a Detective for Attacking an Uber Driver

The Sheriff’s discipline comes as the result of violent off-duty behavior.

Attendees of the rally outside the school district board meeting Wednesday, Aug. 8. Photos courtesy of Cami Kiel
Renton school staff, district discuss budget, salary hikes

Unions expressed initial upset and confusion money wouldn’t be going to staff

Submitted photo
Renton 2-Alarm Fire

Firefighters found a single-story house, fully engulfed in flames on Aug. 10.

Man Arrested for Arson for setting fire to tires at Les Schwab

The suspect is a person of interest in five other trash can and/or dumpster fires in the same area

Renton man dies following one car collision

The incident occurred Thursday afternoon on Interstate 90.

Most Read