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September 4, 2013 at 11:08 AM
Eight people were arrested this morning during a series of raids targeting heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine traffickers in seven cities across Western Washington, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The search warrants were executed by federal law enforcement agents from the FBI, bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Postal Service, as well as Seattle police, at alleged drug stash houses in Vancouver, Covington, Puyallup, SeaTac, Tukwila, Seattle and Tacoma, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
A search warrant was also served on a restaurant in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle, the Juan Colorado, where investigators allege drug traffickers conducted business, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The defendants will make their first appearance in U.S. District Court today at 2 p.m.
“The members of this drug trafficking conspiracy brought meth, cocaine and heroin to our communities preying on those with addictions to line their own pockets,” U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said in a news release. “This lengthy investigation led to seizures of illegal weapons as well as street drugs. This strong law enforcement collaboration is essential to keeping our communities safe.”
The investigation into the alleged drug trafficking organization began in November 2011, according to court documents.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said surveillance revealed the conspirators brought drugs into Washington from California and sold them at various locations ranging from auto wrecking yards in Auburn to restaurants at the Southcenter shopping mall and South Park.
“Mixing criminals, guns and drugs is a foul recipe for any neighborhood,” Interim Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel said. “This organization spread its rotten ingredients throughout Puget Sound.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said those indicted on charges of drug distribution are Jose Ayala Mazoraquil, 39, of Tukwila; Alfonso Rojo Lopez, 26, and Joseph Edward Bell, 62, both of SeaTac; Pedro Velazquez Gomez, 27, and Benjamin Castro, 45, both of Seattle. Three additional suspects were arrested on criminal complaints.
January 5, 2013 at 10:13 AM
At least it won’t be rainy Sunday in D.C.: It’s true that the Seahawks won’t have the home-team advantage for Sunday’s game at FedEx Field, but as they go for their first road playoff win since 1983, at least they should be playing in decent weather. While forecasters are predicting rain here in the Seattle area, with temperatures in the mid-40s, the weather in D.C. is expected to be a mix of sun and clouds and at least a little bit warmer.
The rate in the number of background checks federally licensed firearms dealers have sent to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System from 1999 through 2012 suggests that Washington state out paces neighboring states and California in firearms purchases, according to an article by news partner the Public Data Ferret. Or not. There are several caveats, including this fact: a background check doesn’t mean someone has actually bought a gun. On the other hand, the numbers don’t take into account those who buy guns and are already licensed and those who buy guns at gun shows. Nevertheless, background checks in our state rose from 133,674 in 1999 to 519,209 in 2012. Do with it what you will.
No tsunami: The powerful earthquake that struck the Alaska coast early this morning prompted fears of a tsunami, but the warning was called off after no damaging waves were generated. The Alaska Earthquake Information Center said the quake was widely felt but it received no reports of any damage.
Stories trending this morning on seattletimes.com:
- Bellevue Square’s Munchbar, site of fatal shooting, won’t reopen
- Patrick Dempsey, TV’s “McDreamy,” wins bid to buy Tully’s
- Dempsey group’s winning Tully’s bid may face challenge
- Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is happy to let his game do the talking
- Calif. company offers help to state in setting up retail-marijuana plan
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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