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12 arrested, 22 pounds of meth and 40+ guns seized in South Sound bust

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TACOMA, Wash. — A dozen people were arrested and meth, heroin, cash, and guns were seized Tuesday as part of a coordinated effort among law enforcement to take down two drug rings operating in south Puget Sound.

U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes announced the arrests following a wire-tap investigation and previous investigations resulting in the arrests of 20 people in March 2018.

During Tuesday’s searches, law enforcement seized 22 pounds of meth, one pound of heroin, $48,000 cash and more than 40 firearms.

“Once again, federal, state and local law enforcement partners have come together to address the drug and gun crime plaguing communities in the South Sound,” said Hayes.  “The two groups arrested today have been charged with serious crimes involving methamphetamine, heroin and guns.”

As part of this investigation, more than 65 pounds of meth was seized from one of the drug organizations during traffic stops along the I-5 corridor.

In March 2017, law enforcement stopped a car with 25 pounds of meth.

In three other stops in January and August of 2017 and in March of 2018, officers seized as much as 14 pounds of meth from hidden compartments in “load cars.”

Law enforcement searched five homes in connection with this group:  two in Federal Way, and homes in Auburn, Des Moines, and Kent.  Four people are charged in connection with that drug trafficking group:

  • Jaime Astorga Vega, 31, of Federal Way, Washington
  • Jose Alvarez Sanchez, 25, of Kent, Washington
  • Javier Garcia Rodriguez, 34, of Auburn, Washington
  • Yajaira Andrade Diaz, 30, of Des Moines, Washington

In the second indictment, eight people are charged with trafficking both methamphetamine and heroin. Law enforcement searched three homes in Kent, as well as homes in Marysville, Seattle, Enumclaw, and Lakewood, in connection with this second group.

  • Prosciliano Pascacio Pacheco, 28, of Kent, Washington
  • Danny Avila, 28, of Enumclaw, Washington
  • Jeffrey A. Anonson, 47, of Kent, Washington
  • Margarito Torres Valdovinos, 24, of Seattle, Washington
  • Frederick Clayton Bailey, 63, of Ravensdale, Washington
  • Alicia Lee Robertson, 43, of Lakewood, Washington
  • Trinidad Ramirez Ramirez, 27, of Black Diamond, Washington
  • Ismael Garcia Valenzuela, 24, of Thermal, California

The defendants will make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Tacoma at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.