Suspected drug traffickers with ties to Mexican cartel arrested in Snohomish County

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – A two-year investigation in Snohomish County has led to the arrest of several suspected drug traffickers, some of whom have ties to a Mexican drug cartel.

According to the Snohomish County Regional Drug Task Force, two of the suspects, a 29-year-old man and a 28-year-old man both from Mexico, are accused of leading a drug ring that's comprised of more than 30 traffickers. Q13 does not typically identify suspects until they are formally charged with a crime.

Detectives have seized 11 cars, over $88,000 in cash, 13 pounds of heroin, 14 pounds of methamphetamine, three pounds of cocaine, approximately 4,000 fentanyl-laced pills, three handguns (one of which was stolen), and an AR-15 assault rifle.

“Operation Revolving Door," a joint investigation in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration, started in 2016.

One of the suspects would travel to Washington every two to three months and would only stay a couple of weeks at a time before returning  to Nogales, Mexico.

The other suspected ring leader stayed for longer periods of time and reportedly would manage daily operations in Washington.

The task force identified approximately 30 suspects involved in the organization. The ring leaders were allegedly managing dozens of drug couriers who would travel from Mexico to Washington on a regular basis. After a few months, the couriers would return to Mexico and were replaced by new drug couriers to avoid law enforcement detection.

In early 2018, undercover detectives infiltrated the operation, buying heroin and methamphetamine from the suspects on several occasions and discussing details of the operation with the suspected ring leaders.

One of the search warrants was at a suspected stash house in the 6500 block of 208th Street SW in Lynnwood.

Ten other suspects have been arrested and charged in the past two years as part of this investigation.

The investigation was part of a larger, multi-state operation that led to 43 arrests and large drug busts.