SEATTLE — A two-year investigation of a major heroin and meth trafficking ring in King and Snohomish counties led to 12 arrests Thursday.
Those arrested range in age from 20 to 57 years old and include seven people from Marysville and others from Bothell, Stanwood, Port Angeles, Everett and Fresno, California.
Tiffany Kenney dropped her son off at the bus stop and watched as DEA agents and Snohomish County deputies served a search warrant on her neighbor’s home in the Lakewood Commons neighborhood of Marysville. Deputies arrested two women and four men in the house.
"They're actually new, they just moved in about within the last two weeks,” she said.
It was one of 10 locations searched in King and Snohomish counties. Law enforcement seized 14 pounds of heroin, 43 pounds of methamphetamine, a large sum of cash and eight handguns on Thursday alone.
The Justice Department said in the two years of the investigation, law enforcement seized a total of more than 50 pounds of heroin and more than 100 pounds of methamphetamine. Over $1.1 million involved in the operation also was seized.
The DEA-led task force worked with the Snohomish Regional Drug and Gang Task Force and Seattle Police.
“Heroin and methamphetamine seizures have skyrocketed in the Pacific Northwest and are troubling,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis. “Today, we crippled a transnational criminal organization with tentacles in our area. We remain focused on removing those who supply narcotics to the violent distribution networks destroying our communities.”
Angel is an 18-year-old in Everett who lives near where another search warrant was served. She sees what the drugs are doing to her friends and agrees.
“Probably a good 45 percent of them are either on meth or heroin or have done it or are trying to get clean,” she said.
“Heroin and methamphetamine remain significant threats to the health of our communities. This group was transporting and distributing large quantities of both drugs up through California and into King and Snohomish counties,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “I commend the DEA-led task force that worked diligently to identify those in this distribution chain so that they can be held accountable for spreading these poisons in the Puget Sound region.”
All of those charged made their initial appearance in federal court Thursday. The defendants in custody include:
Alfredo Enciso-Begines, 27, Bothell
Jose Manuel Estrada-Contreras, 33, Marysville
Francisco Javier Munoz-Contreras, 26, Marysville
Adrian Ortega-Gonzalez, 20, Marysville
Jesse Price, 30, Stanwood
Tracy Raley, 34, Marysville
Marlen Ravelo, 47, Port Angeles
Luis Zamudio-Rivera, 37, Marysville
Maria Polonia-Serrano, 57, Fresno, Calif.
Gladys Morales-Garibay, 26, Marysville
Michael Peterman, 34, Everett
Juan Gerardo Ruiz, 30, Marysville