60k fentanyl pills seized from Renton home in massive drug bust sting

More than 60,000 fentanyl pills and over 30 pounds of fentanyl powder were seized in a massive drug bust that targeted a group operating from Renton to Bellingham.  

The investigation began in late March and undercover Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents set up initial drug deals with four suspects. They set up a deal to purchase kilos of fentanyl powder and pills. 

Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents in Tacoma surveilled the dealer after he agreed to supply the drugs to the undercover agents. The DEA agents saw the suspect, and his co-conspirators, as they packed boxes, a backpack, and a cooler into a car at a Renton apartment complex. The four suspects drove to the Bellingham area where they had set the drug sale for a shopping center parking lot. 

They showed law enforcement two boxes, which contained 15 packages of just over 33 pounds of fentanyl powder.

Those arrested were: 

  • Elvin Irias-Escoto, 22, of Honduras (living in Renton) 
  • Selvin Ponce-Maradiaga, 26, of Honduras (living in Renton)
  • Sammy Maradiaga-Escoto, 20, of Honduras (living in Federal Way) 
  • Hector Rosales-Martinez, 24 of Honduras (living in Washington) 

On May 9, when authorities were executing a search warrant of a Renton apartment, they also found an additional 60,000 fentanyl pills, another kilogram of fentanyl powder and multiple boxes of ammunition.

"This quick work by federal and local law enforcement will save lives with 16 kilos of fentanyl powder and tens of thousands of pills taken off the street," said U.S. Attorney Gorman. "With deadly fentanyl overdoses occurring at a rate of two a day in King County alone, we are focused on getting as much fentanyl as we can off the streets and out of circulation."

"Fentanyl traffickers threaten the lives of our community for profit, and this amount of fentanyl represented over 1.6 million potentially lethal doses," said David F. Reames, Special Agent in Charge, DEA Seattle Field Division.

This case was the result of coordinated work between HSI, DEA, FBI, Skagit County Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations, Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations, and U.S Border Patrol.