Northwest HIDTA

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					  Northwest HIDTA
              High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
      2008                                   Serving the needs of 14 Northwest Counties:

                                        Benton, Clark, Cowlitz, Franklin, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Pierce,
   4th Quarter                          Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Whatcom, and Yakima

400 2nd Avenue West, Third Floor, Seattle, WA 98119               (206) 352-3600 phone (206) 352-3699 fax                  March 2009

    Features                 Mexican Nationals Meet Sour Grapes: Yakima Valley Marijuana Vineyards

                             By CIS P. Gosch

  Director’s Message                   The highlight of the 2008 Marijuana Eradication season was centered in the Yakima Valley.
                             The Law Enforcement Against Drugs (LEAD) Task Force, together with Yakima City and County Narcot-
     ISC Update              ics Unit, Clark Skamania Drug Task Force, Yakama Tribal Police, the Yakima offices of DEA, ICE, ATF,
                             and Washington State Patrol, investigated and served search warrants on 17 marijuana grows associ-
Prevention Treatment         ated to area vineyards and orchards.

   Initiative News                     The grow operations were well organized, managed and serviced by Mexican Nationals, both
                             illegal immigrants and naturalized citizens. The dedicated officers and agents harvested and seized
 Marijuana Trends &          184,869 marijuana plants while midday temperatures rose to above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Metham-
        Stats                phetamine, cocaine, and multiple firearms were also seized from these vineyards, as well as several uni-
                             dentified subject‟s documentation (mail, birth certificates, vehicle registrations, etc.) at the search warrant
    Watch Center             locations.

2009 Training Schedule
                                       An analysis of telephone toll returns demonstrate cases spanning 30 states, and Mexico. This
                             drug trafficking organization (DTO) is linked to other national and international poly-drug DTOs
                             (marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine).

                                       Associated subjects have been contacted by law enforcement during traffic stops in Montana,
                             which resulted in the seizure of $32,000 currency, and in Illinois, with the seizure of 100 kilograms of
                             cocaine. In July 2008, Shasta County Sheriff‟s Office (California) conducted a stop in which the driver
                             fled on foot. Inside the vehicle, officers found approximately 30 pounds of heroin and a cellular tele-
                             phone with Yakima subjects associated to the management of the vineyard grow operations listed in the
                             „Contacts.‟ Documents seized show frequent trips to Missouri, Louisiana, and Texas for drug-related
                             business purposes. Arrestees have confirmed that marijuana shipments have reached as far as Atlanta,
                             Georgia. The subject address histories show that many have moved to the Yakima Valley & surrounding
                             areas from Visalia, California.

  This report is specially
                                       The potential for asset forfeiture is significant. Real, leased and personal properties, as well
 prepared for the ONDCP      bank accounts and monies seized are in the multi-million dollar range. Dubbed Operation Sour Grapes,
   High Intensity Drug       this case has recently been moved to OCDETF status and now called Operation Green Jam, agent‟s
Trafficking Area Program     joke that they will be buttering their bread with the assets.
Edited by Theresa Blahato
Page 2                                                                      2008 4th Quarter                                                                Northwest HIDTA

 Director’s Message                                                                                          Dave Rodriguez

          This was a banner year for the eradication of Marijuana plants in both indoor and outdoor
grows. Over 573,000 plants were destroyed in Washington State in 2008 as compared to 295,000 the
year before. In addition, significant investigations were conducted on the Drug Trafficking Organizations
responsible for the production, harvesting, transportation, distribution, and money laundering involved
with this activity.

         On December 4, 2008, the following individuals and groups were recognized by the Office of National Drug Control Policy
(ONDCP), among other national award recipients, at an awards ceremony in Washington DC ( See photographs): Richard Wiley,
Washington State Patrol; Matt Duran, DEA; Clark County Canine Unit; Law Enforcement Against Drugs (LEAD) Task Force, Yakima
Lower Valley, and the DEA HIDTA Transportation Group/ Valley Narcotics Task Force. Congratulations to all the award recipients for
a job well done under difficult and sometimes dangerous circumstances.

            ONDCP Director John Walters with
       Lt. Richard Wiley, Washington State Patrol.                                                                              ONDCP Director Walters with LEAD officers; L-R: Deputy Matt Steadman,
                                                                                                                              Yakima County Sheriff‟s Office; Director Walters; and Police Officer Mike Akins,
                                                                                                                                                     Grandview Police Department.

                                                     ONDCP Director John Walters with Clark County Canine Unit; L-R: Deputy
                                                     Rick Osborne, Director Walters, Deputy Brian Ellithorpe, and Commander
Page 3                                                        2008 4th Quarter                                  Northwest HIDTA

Director’s Message continued

         During the months of October and November, the NW HIDTA conducted the annual self review. All of the Initiatives and Fi-
duciaries were visited or contacted by HIDTA and Task Force personnel to ensure that they are in compliance with the National
HIDTA program policy and guidance. A report of the findings is then briefed to the Executive Board. This year in addition to our self
review a review of certain Initiatives was conducted by ABT Associates which had been contracted by ONDCP. The purpose of the
audit was to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the information that the Initiatives and NW HIDTA were collecting and reporting in
the Performance Management Process (PMP) database. The interim report that we received from ABT found that we had accom-
plished the standards of the PMP, and had made a good faith effort to report accurately. I wish to thank the HIDTA Initiatives in Spo-
kane, Seattle, Cowlitz, and the Northern Border for their time and input into this process.

           It is with deep regret that I inform you that two of our HIDTA Directors Rich Gorman, California Border Alliance Group and
John Sommer, Ohio HIDTA, passed away. Rich was a colleague from DEA before he became the HIDTA Director in San Diego. John
retired from the FBI prior to initiating the HIDTA program in Ohio. They were dedicated law enforcement officers, fine gentlemen, and
strong advocates for the HIDTA program. They will be missed.

                            HIDTA Director Rich Gorman
                           California Border Alliance Group                                Director John Sommer
                                                                                                Ohio HIDTA

                                                               Training News
Preventing Corruption                     AZ HIDTA      2/25/2009      CJTC**           The NW HIDTA coordinates with the National
                                                                                        Guard Midwest Counterdrug Training Center
Preventing Corruption                     AZ HIDTA      2/26/2009      CJTC**           (MCTC), National Drug Intelligence Center
                                                                                        (NDIC), and other federal, state, and local law
ID Theft and Awareness                    MCTC          3/3-5/2009     RICHLAND         enforcement agencies to present these courses.
Indoor Cannabis Cultivations Inv.         MCTC/         3/5-6/09       SEATTLE          There is no cost to the attendees or their agen-
                                          DEA                                           cies, except for per diem, if applicable. The
RISSIntel/RISSafe                         WSIN/         3/11/2009      NW HIDTA SEAT-   courses are open to federal, state, and local law
                                          HIDTA                        TLE              enforcement officers, criminal intelligence ana-
Domestic Drug Interdiction                MCTFT         3/11-13/2009   SEATTLE
                                                                                        lysts, program analysts, and military personnel
                                                                                        assigned to counter-drug activities. Please con-
Connecting the Dots (Intelligence for     MCTC          5/11-15/2009   MARYSVILLE       tact Bob Wicklund or Neclisa Floyd (206) 352-
LE practitioners)                                                      PD**             3600 for additional info on these courses.
Informant Development & Mgmt              MCTC          6/2-4/2009     SPOKANE
RAID                                      NDIC          6/08-12/09     NW HIDTA**
Advanced Vehicle Contraband Con-          MCTC          6/11-12/2009   Clarkston, WA    In 2008, over 66 training courses were provided,
cealment                                                                                sponsored, and attended by 1354 students from
Statement Analysis                        MCTC          6/22-26/2009   Richland PD      NW HIDTA ISC, Task Forces and other Law En-
                                                                                        forcement agencies in Washington State. More
Introduction to Intelligence              MCTC          7/7-9/2009                      than 24,500 training hours were actually pro-
Video Techniques for LE                   MCTC          8/4-6/2009     SPOKANE
                                                                                        vided. These numbers of training course opportu-
                                                                                        nities and student attendance has continually
Conspiracies                              MCTC          9/10-11/2008   SPOKANE          increased each of the past 4 years.

Canine Narcotics Operations               MCTFT         9/28--         WAPATO PD**
Page 4                                                 2008 4th Quarter                                         Northwest HIDTA

  Investigative Support Center Updates                              which found that among persons age 12 or older who reported us-
                                                                    ing substances for the first time in their lives during the past year,
       Welcome New ISC Manager                                      more initiated their drug use with prescription opiates than with
          On November 10, 2008, Theresa P. Blahato reported
for duty as the new ISC Manager. She is a DEA Intelligence          Of immediate concern is the increasing use of prescription opiates
Group Supervisor with 22 years of experience in DEA‟s Intelli-      by children and youth. The 2008 Monitoring the Future Study
gence Program.                                                      (conducted by the University of Michigan under funding by NIDA)
                                                                    found that 15.4% of high school seniors report abusing prescription
           She began her career in DEA at Headquarters where        drugs within the past year, with 9.7% reporting abuse of Hydro-
she was assigned to the Dangerous Drugs Unit and to the Pub-        codone and 4.7% reporting abuse of Oxycodone. These findings
lications Unit. She later transferred to the Miami Field Division   are not surprising in light of research (reported by the University of
                                                                    Maryland Center for Substance Abuse Research – “CESAR”) re-
and worked various assignments to the DEA/FBI Joint Drug
                                                                    vealing that only 25% of college students consider the non-medical
Intelligence Group (JDIG), DEA Intelligence Group, and the          use of prescription opiates to be a “great risk”, compared to 42%
South Florida HIDTA. She later resigned DEA to follow her           who consider it a “moderate risk”, 22% who consider it a “slight
husband, DEA Special Agent Gene Blahato in his assignment           risk” and 4% who see no risk – and that students with low per-
to the U.S. Embassy (DEA Country Office) in London, England.        ceived harmfulness are 10 times more likely to use prescription
Ms. Blahato was hired as a contract intelligence analyst at the     opiates nonmedically than those with high perceived harmfulness.
DEA London Country Office until their eventual reassignment to      And of additional concern, CESAR also reports that youths who
                                                                    use prescription opiates nonmedically are more likely than those
Seattle, Washington. She was promoted to an Intelligence
                                                                    who don‟t to also report poly-drug abuse; 49% of youths who abuse
Group Supervisor in 2001 and worked in the DEA Seattle Divi-        prescription opiates also reported using two or more illicit drugs in
sion Office, where she concentrated on intelligence-sharing         their lifetimes compared to 4% of youths who don‟t use prescription
initiatives, particularly the Integrated Border Intelligence Team   opiates.
                                                                    Within the Northwest HIDTA region the data are similar: Washing-
Ms. Blahato holds a Masters of Science degree in Management         ton State ranks sixth among the states in non-medical use of pre-
from Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts; a Master of          scription opiates. An analysis of persons receiving chemical de-
                                                                    pendency treatment under the auspices of the state Criminal Jus-
Arts degree in Ibero-American Studies from The Catholic Uni-
                                                                    tice Treatment Account shows that nearly 10% of the clients     re-
versity of America, Washington, District of Columbia; and           port “non-heroin” opiates as the reason they entered treatment, a
Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities and Portuguese from           33% increase from the previous year. Washington State data pro-
Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island.                       vided to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (“DAWN”, funded by
                                                                    NIDA) indicates that prescription opiates rank second only to co-
       Prevention Treatment Initiative                              caine in Emergency Room mentions. And the King County Medical
                                                                    Examiner has reported the prescription opiates are the leading
          By Steve Freng, Manager                                   source of drug-caused deaths, accounting for over half of the total
                                                                    number reported.
Prevention/Treatment Initiative
                                                                    Prescription opiate abuse presents a unique challenge to policy
By                                                                  makers and professionals alike: while it is easy to demonize illicit
Steve Freng, Manager                                                substances – especially those as destructive as methamphetamine
                                                                    – it is difficult to address medicine in the same manner, as evi-
                                                                    denced by the data regarding perception of harm discussed previ-
While methamphetamine has and continues to demand the at-           ously. Those within the prevention community have a particular
tention and resources of the criminal justice, human services,      challenge in educating not just children and youth but also parents,
child welfare and health care systems throughout the Northwest      teachers and physicians. And specific to Washington State, the
HIDTA, another threat has rapidly emerged in the past few           establishment of an electronic prescription monitoring system
years. The increasing availability and abuse of prescription        would add significantly to efforts to address the prevalence of pre-
medications, particularly prescription opiates, has become an       scription opiate abuse and dependency. Such programs have al-
alarming trend. And interestingly – contrary to such occur-         ready been established in 24 states where they have been found to
rences in the past -- the indicators of this trend are much more    be an effective tool for enforcement, education and prevention.
evident in the context of community-based data rather than data
gathered by law enforcement.

Within the medical community, practices involving the treatment     If you have questions or comments regarding the Northwest HIDTA
of pain have changed radically over the past 15 years. Conse-       Prevention/Treatment Initiative, Steve Freng can be contacted at
quently, the provision of Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, methadone         206.352.3603 or
and other opiates has skyrocketed, with an estimated 119 mil-
lion prescriptions for Hydrocodone and 38 million prescriptions
for Oxycodone written in the U.S. in 2007. Many of these pre-
scriptions are used for non-prescribed purposes or by those for
whom they have not been prescribed, a fact substantiated by
the 2007 National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health,
Page 5                                                  2008 4th Quarter                                        Northwest HIDTA

                                                         Initiative News

   Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force                                     Northwest HIDTA Border Task Force

In 2008, the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force (SRDTF) ar-            Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
rested 127 individuals. The task force investigated 29 DTOs,           Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office
resulting in 13 arrests, the seizure of 10 vehicles, over $78,850 in   Gurmit Singh Jassal, a 30 year old native of India and Canadian
U.S. Currency; 180 grams of cocaine; 1,361 grams of marijuana,         citizen residing in British Columbia, was found guilty on Decem-
and 530 marijuana plants.                                              ber 17, 2008 of Conspiracy to Distribute Ecstasy and Marijuana,
                                                                       Possession of Ecstasy with Intent to Distribute, and Possession
The SRDTF worked on three special projects (non-DTO) that in           of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute. Jassal was arrested on
2008 that resulted in 19 arrests, $41,565, 2 vehicles, a motor         February 5, 2008, when U.S. Border Patrol agents spotted Jas-
home and 6 real properties. The task force also seized 4,218           sal and another man, crossing into the United States with four
marijuana plants, .75 lb marijuana, and 16 ounces of cocaine.          duffel bags. The bags contained over 90 pounds of Ecstasy,
                                                                       and more that 20 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated street
The SRDTF assisted the U.S. Postal Service with an OxycContin          value of $3.1 million.
mail case where $10,000 a month was delivered through the mail.
The target was arrested as was the postal worker helping the           Agents and officers arrested Canadian citizens Dhymitruy
main target.                                                           Bouryiotis, 48 years old, and Montgomery Reed Hill, 36 years
                                                                       old, while they attempted to load cocaine into a jet ski at a
In September 2008, the task force assisted the Skagit County           Whatcom County beach. A subsequent search of the beach
Sheriff‟s Office with a murder investigation. There were five indi-    netted five bags weighing approximately 260 pounds. This op-
viduals killed, of which one was identified as a Skagit County         eration was a cooperative effort with ICE, U.S. Customs and
Deputy. The SRDTG assisted in the processing and storing of            Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations in Belling-
evidence. During that same time, the task force assisted the           ham and the Blaine Sector Border Patrol, CBP Office of Field
Skagit County Task Force with a marijuana eradication project in       Operations, the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, the
which 6,752 plants were seized.                                        U.S. Coast Guard Bellingham Station, Drug Enforcement Ad-
                                                                       ministration Bellingham Resident Office, the Whatcom County
                                                                       Sheriff‟s Office, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The SRDTF received a grant through the HIDTA, the Native
American Project (NAP) for $150,000. This grant is for drug
cases on and/or involving tribal residents. The task force has
partnered with HIDTA, FBI, DEA, Snohomish County Sheriff‟s             Devron D. Quast, 38 years old, Canadian citizen of Abottsford,
Office Patrol, Everett Police Department Patrol, Marysville Police     British Columbia, Canada was arrested in Ferndale, Washing-
Department Patrol, Skagit County Task Force, South Snohomish           ton in June 2008. During the time of his arrest, agents seized
County Narcotics Task Force, Sauk-Suiattle Tribal Police, Swi-         $60,000 and hundreds of pounds of Canadian marijuana
nomish Tribal Police, Stillaguamish Tribal Police, and the Tulalip     (commonly referred to as B.C. Bud marijuana) from Canada.
Tribal Police.                                                         Quast was responsible for the smuggling of cocaine into Can-
                                                                       ada, and smuggling of marijuana into the United States. The
      Yakima County HIDTA Task Force                                   drugs were smuggled using a variety of methods: in PVC pipes
                                                                       stowed within a propane tanker, in false walls of containerized
                                                                       cargo and in loads of commercial lumber and on foot across the
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)                                  border. The investigation resulted in the seizure of more than
                                                                       1,300 pounds of cocaine; 7,000 pounds of B.C. Bud marijuana,
Law Enforcement Against Drugs (LEAD)
                                                                       and approximately $3.5 million. Thirty-eight individuals have
Both DEA Yakima and LEAD continue to work closely in targeting         been charged with drug trafficking and related offenses. This
a Mexican DTO involved vineyard based marijuana grows. In one          investigation was the cooperative effort of ICE, DEA, CBP, the
location in Toppenish, Washington, agents seized a vineyard            Washington State Patrol, the Snohomish County Sheriff‟s Of-
grow with 22,660 marijuana plants and arrested three individuals.      fice, and the Bellingham Police Department.
In another related vineyard grow, agents seized 19,050 marijuana
plants and arrested three individuals. Another vineyard grow in
Wapato, Washington, netted 6,383 marijuana plants and one ar-          Leroy Carr, 47 years old, U.S. citizen of Federal Way, Washing-
rest. A Grandview, Washington vineyard grow, agents confis-            ton, was convicted on October 3, 2008 for Possession of Co-
cated 3,950 marijuana plants and arrested five individuals. In a       caine with Intent to Distribute. Carr was arrested on September
Mabton, Washington grow, agents found 13,880 marijuana plants          15, 2007 near the Sumas Point of Entry (POE). Carr had come
and arrested two individuals. DEA and LEAD continue to follow          to the attention of border agents on numerous occasions with
investigative leads. Investigative efforts, thus far, show a com-      large sums of cash, totaling $25,400 – some in Canadian cur-
plex and sophisticated operation, where the DTO controlled every       rency. Border agents found Carr in possession of a Global Po-
facet of operations, from the purchasing of property and other real    sitioning System (GPS) unit with coordinates of a well known
estate, the recruitment of marijuana tenders, to the harvesting,       drug smuggling trail near the Black Mountain area, which is
transportation and distribution of the drug. The DTO is believed       close to the U.S./Canada border, as well as night vision gog-
to be capable of distributing and providing in excess of 130,000 of    gles. On August 7, 2007, Carr contact ICE agents when he
marijuana each season. Additional information is found in first        reported that the 31 kilograms that he had stashed in two blue
page of newsletter.                                                    hiking bags near the entrance of the Boy Scout camp on Silver

                                                                                              continued on page 8
Page 6                                                    2008 4th Quarter                                        Northwest HIDTA

                                                           Initiative News

  Washington State Patrol Investigative                                      Spokane County HIDTA Task Force
         Assistance Initiative
On November 10, 2008, the Washington State Patrol (WSP)
SWAT team served a High Risk search warrant for the Thurston             Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
County Narcotics Task Force (TNT) at 911 Burr Road SE. The
                                                                         Spokane County Regional Task Force
search warrant was to look for evidence to the crimes of Assault
1st, Kidnapping 1st, Robbery 1st, Possession of Stolen Firearm,          On October, 1, 2008, the DEA Spokane Resident Office exe-
and Felon in Possession of Firearm 1st. TNT requested WSP                cuted 18 federal search warrants and 2 state seizure warrants
SWAT to perform the entry and secure the residence because of            in relation to Operation Generations in the cities of Pasco, Ken-
the threat level associated with the suspect and residence. The          newick, and Spokane, Washington. A total of 46 individuals
suspect, Thelonious Morrison had a history of assaults and               were indicted before the take down and 31 have been arrested
weapons violation. There was also intelligence of weapons on             to date. Three additional suspects were arrested as a result of
the premises and Pit Bulls. WSP SWAT served the warrant and              the enforcement actions that day. All were charged with Con-
Morrison was taken into custody without incident. Three hand-            spiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine. Three individuals were
guns, one shot gun, and evidence from the above crimes were              arrested by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforce-
located and seized, as well an indoor marijuana grow and over a          ment due to illegal immigration status and one individual was
pound of processed marijuana. There were also six Pit Bulls on           arrested on a state firearms charge. A total of 24 pounds of
the property. WSP SWAT was able to utilize both of their ar-             crystal methamphetamine was seized most of which tested at
mored vehicles to perform a simultaneous entry and enter the             100% purity. On October 30, 2008, agents executed federal
residence at two different points.                                       seizure warrants on the personal and business accounts of one
                                                                         of the suspects. A total of $23, 486.39 was seized from the
  Thurston County Narcotics Task Force                                   accounts. The total currency seized to date in this investigation
                                                                         is $737,721.73. The investigation involved the cooperative ef-
                                                                         fort of the United States Attorney‟s Office Eastern District of
                                                                         Washington, Benton County Sheriff‟s Office, Pasco Police De-
In 2008, the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force (TCNTF)
                                                                         partment, Kennewick Police Department, Richland Police De-
conducted three operations which dismantled several DTOs op-
                                                                         partment, Franklin County Sheriff‟s Office, Tri Cities Metro Drug
erating in the area. In Operation Our Town, officers identified a
                                                                         Task Force, Washington State Patrol, Spokane County Sheriff‟s
local marijuana distribution organization, which used unpredict-
                                                                         Office, Spokane Police Department, Spokane Regional Drug
able routes of travel to avoid detection by law enforcement, in
                                                                         Task Force, Border Patrol, ATF, BICE, FBI, U.S Marshal‟s Ser-
order to distribution the marijuana in the area. Operation D-Loc
                                                                         vice, and the Social Security Administration.
targeted the Lakewood Hustler Crips in the cocaine and OxyCon-
tin trafficking activities. This gang has a long history of drug traf-
ficking, intimidation, and violence. The gang made threats to two
task force detectives. Ten gang members have been charged. In                           Cowlitz-Wahkiakum
Operation Big Fish, TCNTF officers identified a money laundering                        Narcotics Task Force
and marijuana trafficking organization that had been in operation
in the area for several decades. The organization used violence
and intimidation to further their illegal activities. The TCNTF also     On December 9, 2008, Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Narcotics Task
supported DEA Tacoma in Operation Capital Cleansing, which               Force (CWNTF) agents, with the assistance of local law en-
targeted the Adiodato BARRAGAN Mexican DTO.                              forcement, arrested five Mexican Nationals and served search
                                                                         warrants on two residences (Kelso and Longview) and a vehi-
                                                                         cle. Agents confiscated methamphetamine and cocaine pack-
                                                                         aged for sale as well as drug paraphernalia, documents, and
                                                                         drug proceeds. Officers also found a rifle from the Longview
                                                                         residence. Those arrested were identified as Rafael
                                                                         GUTIERREZ-Barajas, 41; Angela ALVAREZ, 35; Raul MA-
                                                                         GANA-Aguilera, 38; Serapio AMONTE-Pedraza, 22; and Diego
                                                                         GUEVARA-Aranda, 34. This DTO was in operation in the area
                                                                         for more than a decade.

           Thurston county Narcotic Task Force Photo
            Methamphetamine concealed in vehicle
Page 7                                                  2008 4th Quarter                                         Northwest HIDTA

                                                          Initiative News

     Tacoma Regional HIDTA Task Force                                    pounds of marijuana packaged for sale, 2 handguns, approxi-
                                                                        mately $8,000 in cash, tools for marijuana cultivation, scales, and
                                                                        other assorted evidence related to the manufacture, sale, distribu-
                                                                        tion, and transportation of marijuana. Numerous Mexican Nation-
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
                                                                        als were taken into custody. At this time, all subjects taken into
The DEA Tacoma Regional HIDTA Task Force statistics for 2008
showed that 53 investigations were initiated, 172 individuals were
                                                                        custody throughout the investigation have pled guilty, except for
arrested, 52 firearms were seized, and $2.29 million in drug pro-       one who is pending trial.
ceeds and assets were confiscated. Drug seizures totaled: 135.1
pounds of methamphetamine, 5.1 pounds of heroin, 34.1 pounds            Tacoma Police Department
of cocaine, 83.5 pounds of bulk marijuana, 841 marijuana                Tacoma Police Department Narcotics Officers initiated an investi-
plants, 7.6 pounds of MDMA, and 1.4 pounds of OxyContin tab-            gation targeting a drug organization involved in smuggling diverted
lets. DEA Tacoma’s most significant investigation centered on the       pharmaceuticals from Los Angeles, California to the Seattle-
Adiodato BARAGAN DTO under Operation Capital Cleansing. This            Tacoma area. The case was worked cooperatively with the DEA
DTO was responsible for distributing between 150 and 200
                                                                        Tacoma Regional HIDTA Task Force. A buy bust was conducted
pounds of methamphetamine per month. DTO members were
                                                                        on two suspects for 30 OxyContin pills (80 milligrams) at the
part of El Grupo Zeta – a violent, Mexican para-military organiza-
tion, which is responsible for the murders of Mexican Federal           Krispy Kreme Store at the Tacoma Mall. The buy-bust was made
Police. The DTO operated internationally and domestically.              and officers seized $3,000 in U.S. Currency. A search warrant
                                                                        was obtained for an address in Shoreline. Another suspect was
Operation Capital Cleansing resulted in the arrest of 55 defen-         arrested and officers confiscated $50,000 in U.S. Currency, 3 fire-
dants and 9 endangered children (ages 3 months to 15 years)             arms, 1 pound of marijuana, and 2,000 OxyContin pills. The Oxy-
were removed from drug homes. A total of 90 pounds of metham-           Contin tablets had an estimated street value of $160,000.
phetamine, 40 pounds of marijuana, $260,000 in bulk currency,
over $500,000 in real property, 41 vehicles, and 50 firearms were       The task force conducted a follow-up to the above-mentioned ar-
                                       confiscated.                     rest and another buy/bust of the California supplier was made in
                                                                        Seattle. Agents and officers arrested two more suspects and
                                                                        seized another 2,000 OxyContin pills.

                                                                        The DEA Tacoma Task Force coordinated enforcement activities
                                                                        with the DEA Los Angeles Field Division in the execution of
                                                                        search warrants of the supplier‟s house in Los Angeles, Califor-
                                                                        nia. Agents located several hundred OxyContin tablets and sev-
                                                                        eral thousand hydrocodone pills. Federal charges were added for
                                                                        trafficking in OxyContin. Another $45,000 in U.S. Currency was
                                                                        seized from the suspect‟s bank account.
  DEA Photo –
  Money and drugs                                                       This DTO was responsible for an estimated $500,000 in sales of
  seized in Opera-                                                      OxyContin per month. A total of $95,000.00 in U.S. Currency was
  tion Capital                                                          seized.
                                                                        In a separate investigation, the Tacoma Police Department con-
                                                                        cluded a narcotics investigation of a DTO involved in the distribu-
                                                                        tion of marijuana, OxyContin, and stolen property. Tacoma Police
                                                                        Department, along with members of the Tacoma Police Special
Pierce County Sheriff’s Department                                      Investigations Division and CID Property Crimes Unit executed a
On September 23, 2008, PCSD SIU, PCSD SWAT, along with                  search warrant on a residence in north Tacoma. One individual
DEA Seattle Division Office, DEA Tacoma Resident Office, and            was arrested on nine felony counts. Agents seized 366 OxyCon-
Oregon Bureau of Land Management (BLM) assisted DEA                     tin tablets with an estimated street value of $19,760; 455 grams of
Eugene (Oregon) in the service of a federal search warrant. This        marijuana with an estimated street value of $2,000; 26 Bupreno-
was the culmination of an ongoing joint agency investigation into a     phine tablets with an estimated street value of $500; and 2 Vicodin
drug trafficking organization of Mexican Nationals in the cultivation   tablets with an estimated street value of $60. A HP touch Smart
of marijuana on public land in California, Oregon, and Washington.      Lap Top computer estimated value of $2,000 was confiscated.
                                                                        Also seized were the following firearms: one Walther P99 .380
Prior to the search warrant being served, PCSD pre-raid surveil-        caliber semi-auto handgun with an estimated value of $300; one
lance units followed suspect Ignacio Villanueva-Carranza from the       Derringer .22 caliber handgun with an estimated value of $200;
target residence. Ignacio had a confirmed warrant for his arrest        one Taurus .22 caliber semi-auto handgun with an estimated
through DEA Eugene. A vehicle stop was conducted and Ignacio            value of $300; and one Remington 12 gauge shotgun with an esti-
was taken into custody for his warrant.                                 mated value of $500.
                                                                        A total of $100, 981.00 of U.S. Currency was seized.
Upon the residence being secured, Oregon BLM processed the
residence for evidence. Found in the search was approximately 65
Page 8                                                 2008 4th Quarter                                        Northwest HIDTA

                                                        Initiative News

         HIDTA Integrated Task Force                                     Clark-Skamania Narcotics Task Force

DEA Seattle Enforcement Group HIDTA Task Force 1                      The task force had five significant cases to report. Case 1 culmi-
                                                                      nated on October 2, 2008, when investigation led to the discovery
Operation MET Finale, targeted a Mexican DTO that was respon- that a female had obtained a Washington Drivers License in her
sible for trafficking cocaine, crack cocaine and methamphetamine sister‟s name. The sister is a Mexican National that lives in Mex-
via California and Idaho to Washington state. Since October 1,        ico. The task force had information that the husband of the
2007, the investigation culminated in the seizure of 22.848 kilo-     woman is a Mexican National, who is illegally in the county and is
grams of cocaine, 19.586 pounds of ice methamphetamine, 997           involved as a mid-level, poly drug dealer. The Clark-Skamania
grams of crack cocaine, and $1.6 million in assets, and the arrest Narcotics Task Force executed two search warrants, based on the
of 27 individuals. The organization used a wide variety of hidden     information on the unlawfully obtaining the drivers license. During
compartments in vehicles to secret the drugs.                         the service of the warrants, agents seized 39.5 grams of cocaine,
                                                                      and 7 grams of heroin. Agents also seized six vehicles, including
                                                                      one vehicle that had the front passenger airbag removed and a
                                           DEA Photo - Hidden         mechanical trap door installed to transport drugs. On October 6,
                                               compartment            2008, Case 2 was a result of a citizen tip lead to the investigation
                                            accessed from back        of a possible indoor marijuana growing operation. Warrants were
                                              seat of vehicle.        served at two residences and one was found to contain a sophisti-
                                                                      cated indoor grow that had 68 mature plants ready to harvest and
                                                                      approximately 50 pots that had been recently harvested. The
                                                                      second house was in the process of preparation for a grow. The
                                                                      owner cooperated and gave information on other possible grow
                                                                      operations in the Southwest Washington area. On November 20,
 DEA Photo - Panel slides                                             2008, Case 3 relates to a family member of a drug dealer, who
 open to reveal hidden                                                contacted the task force with information. Based on the informa-
 compartment.                                                         tion, agents conducted a controlled buy, and then executed a
                                                                      search warrant was served at the dealer‟s residence. Officers
                                                                      seized 21 balloons of cocaine, 23 grams of cocaine ready to be
                                                                      packaged, and several balloons of heroin. Also on November 20,
                                                                      2008, Case 4 concerns an informant who provided information on
                                                                      a drug dealer that was selling heroin to a large number of people
                                               DEA Photo - False in the Vancouver area. Initial surveillance of the subject led to the
                                                                      observation of over 20 hand to hand drug deals in one five our
                                               compartment con-
                                                                      period. Further investigation led to the service of a search war-
                                               cealed by perma- rant at the dealer‟s residence. At the residence, officers confis-
                                                 nently-mounted       cated 101 individual balloons of heroin along with a small quantity
                                               speakers in trunk. of cocaine. The suspect was arrested at a traffic stop where addi-
                                                                      tional balloons of heroin were recovered. In Case 5, which culmi-
                                                                      nated on December 10, 2008, detectives were working with a con-
                                                                      fidential informant, who identified a subject dealing large amounts
                                                                      of marijuana and other drugs from an apartment. Investigation
DEA Seattle Transportation Group HIDTA Task Force 2                   revealed that the renter of the apartment had used fraudulent
                                                                      documents to obtain utilities for the apartment. A warrant was
Agents from HIDTA Task Force 2 culminated enforcement activi-
                                                                      prepared for documents related to identity theft. Upon entering
ties on Operation Green Reaper – a multi-agency initiative target-
                                                                      the apartment, detectives found cocaine, and an additional war-
ing indoor marijuana grows. The operation began in September          rant was obtained for the drugs. Officers seized 218 grams of
2007 as a joint enforcement/intelligence initiative aimed at devel-
                                                                      cocaine, 255 grams of marijuana, and 9 guns. One of the guns
oping a strategic assessment of the indoor marijuana grow situa-
                                                                      had been reported stolen from a residential burglary. During the
tion. Through the collection of documents seized at residential
                                                                      service of the warrant, detectives noticed a photograph of the tar-
properties containing these grows, agents and analysts were able get wearing a police uniform. The target confirmed that he had
to identify indoor garden supply businesses, mortgage companies,
                                                                      served for many years as a police officer in Mexico, but he was
real estate companies/brokers and money launderers involved in
                                                                      earning far more money in his new profession.
sustaining these indoor grow operations. Since January 2008,
HIDTA Task Force 2 executed six separate law enforcement op-
erations, which resulted in the seizure of 27 indoor marijuana culti-                  Northwest HIDTA Border Task Force
vation operations, a total of 18,665 marijuana plants, and the ar-                            continued from page 5
rest of 66 defendants, of which 40 defendants are being prose-
cuted federally. Thus far, the inventories of two indoor gardening     Lake Road in Maple Falls, Washington, were missing. He wanted
supply companies, having an estimated value of $850,000; ap-           ICE agents to put a press release which reported the seizure of
proximately $366,000 U.S. currency, and 45 automobiles have            31 kilograms of cocaine so that members of the drug trafficking
                                                                       organization, which he worked, would not retaliate against him for
                                                                       the theft. On August 21, 2007, the Ranger and Camp Director of
                                                                       the Black Mountain Boy Scout Camp called the Northwest Re-
                                                                       gional Drug Task Force and reported that they had found two blue
                                                                       bags near the entrance of the camp.
      Page 9                                                                                                                    2008 4th Quarter                                                                                                                                                       Northwest HIDTA

                                                                                                                                 Emerging Trend

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Washington State
      Marijuana Derivatives: Hash Oil and Hash Oil Paste (Budder) Marijuana                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Patrol Photo:
      In December 2008, the Washington State Patrol Bomb Squad responded to a                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Budder Marijuana
      bomb threat at a residence known for drug trafficking activities in the Olympia                                                                                                                                                                                                                               in pipe.
      area. The Bomb Squad noticed a PVC pipe with an oily substance and pow-
      dered plant material, which was later identified as marijuana.

      Reports of Hash Oil and Hash Oil Paste, commonly referred to as “Budder”
      marijuana are becoming more prevalent due to their high THC (delta-9-
      Tetrahydrocannabinol) content range of 80 to 90 percent, when compared to bud marijuana,
      which can reach a THC content of 27 percent. According to the DEA Western Laboratory, the
      use of PVC tubing is a newer method that traffickers are using to extract the THC from the
      marijuana. In the El Paso Intelligence Center Publication EB07-21: Hash Oil and “Budder” –
      Emerging Marijuana Derivatives, May 10, 2007, this method of extraction is called the Super-
      critical Fluid Extraction. PVC tubing is packed with pulverized or powdered marijuana with
      coffee filters or paper towels serving as filters inside the tubing and capped. Traffickers punch
      holes in the tubing and connect one end of the tubing to a butane gas canister. The butane gas liquefies the marijuana and the THC
      is released. The liquid containing the THC is collected and evaporated carefully as the butane gas is highly combustible and the tub-
      ing can ignite, hence the term “Budder Bomb.”

      For additional information concerning this seizure, please contact WSP Bomb Technician Mark Soper at
                                                                           Non Reported                2008 Marijuana Eradication Statistics Statewide
                                                                             501-1000                                           580,415 Total Plants Seized YTD
                                                                               10,000                                                                                                                                                      CANADA
                                                                        Indoor/Outdoor/Hotline #s                                           I-5           Whatcom
                                                                                                                San Juan                                  405/16,799
                                                                                                                   3                                                                              Okanogan                                                              Pend
                                                                                                                                                                                                   10,526                                                               Oreille

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                20                                        23
                                                                                                      PUGET                                                             20

                                                                                                       SOUND                                                    Skagit                                              97/20
                                                                                                                         Island                               561/6,993/2                                                                   Ferry
                                                                                                          Clallam                                             Snohomish                                                                                   Stevens
                                                                                                           28/28                                              5,682/85/253                                                                              124/24,540/77

                                                                                                                                                                                      Chelan                      Douglas
                                                                                                                                                                                 162/85,961/11,305                 38/33
                                                                                                        664/13                                                                                               97                                                            2

                                                                                                                                                    Seattle                                                                                                                Spokane
                                                                                                                              983/930/367                              I-90

                                                                                                   Grays                                                King                                                                              Lincoln
                                                                                                   Harbor            Mason                                                                                                                                     I-90
                                                                                                                   263/72/153                      23,222/506/2,898                               97/20                                    10/29                 Spokane
                                                                                                    101              101                 Tacoma                                                                    Grant
                                                                                                                    8         Olympia                                           Kittitas
                                                                                                                             Thurston                                                                                                    Adams                   Whitman
                                                                                                                        12                        2,738/801/491
                                                                                                                             1,394/883                                                                                                    2,257                    10

                                                                                                       Pacific                             Lewis
                                                                                                      154/95/47                         800/2,589/21                                                                                          395
                                                                                                                                                                12                              Yakima
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             14,360                            Garfield
                                                                                                                                                                             Yakima                  I-82                                                Columbia
                                                                                                                                Cowlitz                                 281/214,036/28,048
                                                                                                                                                  Skamania                                                                  Tri-Cities                 11,500/11,288
                                                                                                                              5,489/5,359                                                                     Benton
                                                                                                                                                   97/4,310                                                                              Walla Walla                    Asotin
                                                                                                              Wahkiakum                                                                    97                57/43,021
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          0/31,449                      10/10
                                                                         TOTAL SEIZURES                                           I-5                                         Klickitat
                                                                        (As of January 20, 2009)                                                                               22,876                                                      I-84
                                                                      Grows                456                                      Clark
                                                                      Indoor Plants     41,381                                                                                                                OREGON
                                                                      Outdoor Plants   538,918                     Clark
                                                                                                                      Portland                                  I-84
                                                                      MJ Hotline Plants 79,266                959/8,404/4,789
                                                                      Arrests              390
                                                                      Weapons              310

                                                                   Investigative Assistance Division

                                    Comparison by Years Total Seizures                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         580,415
 600,000                                                                                                                                                                         400,000

 500,000                                                                                                                                                                         350,000

                                                                                                                                                                                 300,000                                                                                                                             296,611
 200,000                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                136,158
                                                                                                                                                                                 150,000                                                                                                     133,665
          0                                                                                                                                                                         50,000                                                                                 45,159
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         26,379 41,449
                 1999       2000       2001   2002   2003   2004        2005             2006          2007             2008 YTD

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1999               2000                 2001          2002               2003       2004     2005      2006     2007    2008

Investigative Assistance Division                                                                                                                                                 Investigative Assistance Division
Page 10      2008 4th Quarter   Northwest

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