23 indicted on federal drug trafficking charges

SEATTLE (AP) — A two-year investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement partners has led to 23 indictments, with 18 of those people under arrest.

Federal prosecutors say the 23 were indicted on drug trafficking charges and 18 were scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court on Tuesday. The others are being sought.

Acting U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes says the group preyed on the community by supplying drugs in neighborhoods across Seattle. She says their criminal activity included hiding weapons and using violence in homeless encampments along Interstate 5.

The indictment says authorities started using wire taps and other tools in 2013 to infiltrate the organization. The investigation found that the group distributed dozens of kilos of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine each month.

The drug activity covered a wide area, including Seattle, Renton, Shoreline and Kent. Those arrested ranged in age from 27 to 57.