4 arrested in WA drug trafficking conspiracy

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  ((U.S. Attorney's Office))

Four suspected drug traffickers with connections to Mexican and Colombian gangs were arrested, three of them in Washington.

The arrests came as a result of a year-long wire tap investigation conducted by Seattle, the DEA and IRS. They arrested four men 

Police arrested 37-year-old Ramon Garcia of Kent, 55-year-old Curtis McDaniel of Tukwila, 39-year-old Manuel Hernandez of Renton, and 35-year-old Jose Luis Villafañe Osorio of Plainfield, New Jersey. A fifth person was tied to this drug conspiracy, 30-year-old Humberto Rodriguez of Renton, who is currently in prison in California.

Garcia, Rodriguez and Hernandez are Mexican citizens staying in the U.S., with alleged ties to a cartel in Mexico. Osorio is a Colombian citizen who prosecutors say was the drug producer. McDaniel is a U.S. citizen, and is accused of trafficking drugs in the States.

"Following the money has taken this investigation to places both close and far from home, allowing us to disrupt this large-scale drug trafficking chain from end-to-end," said IRS Seattle's Special Agent in Charge, Adam Jobes. "Teamwork and collaboration are indispensable to investigations this far-reaching, and we are proud to be working with some of the most dedicated law enforcement partners here in the U.S. as well as internationally. We are committed to keeping our communities safe from the scourge of illicit drugs, no matter where these investigations may take us."

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Garcia was stopped by police in the Pacific Northwest, carrying 12 pounds of methamphetamine, a stolen firearm and $10,000 in drug trafficking proceeds.

In their investigation, agents seized 84,000 fentanyl pills, more than a kilogram of fentanyl powder, 32 kilograms of cocaine, 15 kilograms of meth, roughly three kilograms of heroin, nine firearms including an assault rifle, and $71,000 in drug money.

"This cooperative effort is a win for the good guys and a tremendous example of the truly international cooperation needed to tackle this immense threat," said DEA Special Agent in Charge, David F. Reames. "I appreciate the extensive cooperation between the DEA, Seattle Police Department, Internal Revenue Service, and the Colombian National Police to create a top-to-bottom success by indicting Mexican cartel members, Colombian drug producers, and American distributors."


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