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Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office makes major drug bust

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The two ringleaders and three couriers for a major drug operation are now in custody, after Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office investigators busted a multi-state ring.

The culmination of a two-year investigation, an entire cache of narcotics, $90,000 in cash, and 11 cars are also now in law enforcement’s hands, according to Shari Ireton, communications director for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

“Over the two years, we’ve arrested 10 suspects,” she told Todd Herman, filling in on the Dori Monson Show. “And in this last arrest, we took 13 pounds of heroin, 14 pounds of meth, 3 pounds of cocaine, and about 4,000 fentanyl-laced pills off the street.”

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This equates to hundreds of thousands, and perhaps even millions, of dollars, she said, but is “just a drop in the bucket of what they had trafficking in and out of this county every day.”

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office sent out two undercover detectives to buy drugs and identified the leaders of the drug ring so that they could be arrested in November. This was not without great personal risk on the detectives’ par. Ireton said that the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office seized weapons such as an AR-15 and handguns from the suspects after their arrest.

“It was a pretty sophisticated operation, so it says a lot to the detectives and task force for being able to infiltrate it, stay on top of this investigation for a couple years, and bring in the top leaders, rather than just a couple of street-level dealers,” she said.

The two ringleaders were Mexican citizens traveling to the area with drugs. Ireton said that many of the traffickers had visas; the sheriff’s office does not know if any of them came into the country illegally.

Ireton credited other law enforcement agencies in Snohomish County that helped with the investigation, as well as the FBI. All of these agencies “come together to do this really tough work,” she said.

“Dealing with the trafficking of drugs in Snohomish County … is something that local law enforcement takes incredibly seriously,” she said. “Any of those drugs, we want to get off the street, no matter what the amount.”

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