U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash.
Emergency Messages as of 3:42 am, Thu. Feb. 2
No information currently posted.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash.
Primary email address for a new account:

  


Manage my existing Subscription

News Releases
Kennewick Man Sentenced to 42 Months in Federal Prison for Obstructing an Official Proceeding, Lying to the FBI, and Staging Automobile - 01/27/23

Defendant Attempted to Make the Case Go Away by Falsely Accusing an FBI Agent and Another Individual Defendant Suspected was an FBI Informant of Soliciting a $20,000 Bribe

Spokane, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Ali Abed Yaser, age 52 of Kennewick, Washington, was sentenced after having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, making false statements to the FBI, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, and two counts of mail fraud.  United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke sentenced Yaser to a 42-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 3-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison.  Judge Dimke also ordered Yaser to pay restitution in the amount of $126, 990 and forfeiture of $19,978.  At sentencing, Judge Dimke observed that Yaser engaged in a “concerted and dedicated effort to undermine the credibility of” the FBI and his actions “undermined the reputation of that agency and the community’s ability to have trust and faith in the justice system as a whole.”  
According to court proceedings, in February 2019, the FBI opened an official investigation into allegations that Yaser and others were involved in a scheme to defraud insurance companies and obtain money and property by staging automobile accidents, and filing false and fraudulent claims with insurance companies.  As part of the investigation, the FBI used a confidential human source (CHS) who covertly recorded conversations with individuals suspected of being involved in the staged accident scheme.  The CHS provided information to the FBI regarding violations and suspected violations of the Federal criminal laws.

In May 2020, the FBI executed warrants to search residences in Washington and California for evidence of federal crimes. Shortly afterward, Yaser told the CHS to be careful because Yaser suspected someone was an FBI informant.  Yaser told the CHS that he learned that the individual Yaser suspected was an FBI informant recently visited the CHS.  Yaser admonished the CHS for not calling him when that individual visited the CHS.  Yaser told the CHS he would have come to his residence, closed the garage door, shut off the security system cameras, and killed the individual Yaser suspected was the FBI informant.  Yaser added, “they would not have recognized his face from his foot.”  Yaser encouraged the CHS to call the person Yaser thought was the FBI informant and to convince the person to meet with Yaser at his residence.

A few days later, Yaser met with the CHS and discussed his plan to file a false, fictitious, and fraudulent complaint against the FBI case agent and the suspected FBI informant.  Yaser also sought to persuade others to support his plan to make false allegations against the FBI case agent and the other individual.  Yaser stated, “When we make [the suspected informant] wear the handcuffs, we will be sending him away from the field, keep him on the sideline.”  Yaser also stated, “After I screw [the suspected informant], a week later I would go to [the FBI] again and say to them, Protect me.  Protect my children.  I need protection for myself and my children, and that Al-Mahdi Army militias are threatening my family in Iraq.  I would put [the suspected informant] in such a mess he would never get out of.”

Yaser instructed the CHS to audio record the suspected informant so Yaser could tamper with the recording and play a tampered version for police. Yaser told the CHS, “I want to record his words.  There are words I want to pick out.  So, If I am at a spot, I will play them to the police.  I would say when he came to me here, I became afraid and thought he must have something bad, and I was afraid of him, and I put the recorder for him.”

In late August 2020, Yaser discussed fabricating a story for local local police and the FBI to further his scheme to discredit the case agent and the individual Yaser suspected was an FBI informant.  Yaser’s plan was to make them unavailable as witnesses, to get the FBI agent removed from the case and to impede proceedings against Yaser.  Yaser stated in sum and substance, “We will file a complaint with the police and the police will forward it to [FBI]” and “[t]he police will turn it upside down on them, it won’t take half an hour and it would reach them.”  

In September 2020, when interviewed by FBI, Yaser and codefendant Mohammed Naji Al-Jibory falsely accused the FBI case agent and the individual they suspected of being an FBI informant of soliciting approximately a $20,000 bribe from Yaser to make the case go away.  In doing so, Yaser and Al-Jibory engaged in misleading conduct toward the FBI agents with the intention of hindering, delaying, and preventing communication to these officers and a federal judge of information relating to the commission and possible commission of federal crimes.  Yaser and Al-Jibory also attempted to corruptly obstruct, influence, and impede, and attempt to obstruct, influence, and impede an official proceeding, that is, a federal grand jury proceeding and the federal criminal case against him.

Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington said, “Staged accidents make our streets dangerous and distract police from responding to legitimate distress calls.  Moreover, efforts to hinder federal criminal proceedings will not be tolerated.  We will continue to work closely with out federal and state law enforcement, and private industry, partners to investigate fraud schemes.  I am grateful to the tremendous investigative agents and Assistant United States Attorney George Jacobs, who spent substantial time and resources to ensure that our community continues to be safe and strong, and that individuals who perpetrate these types of complex schemes are held accountable.”

“When faced with the discovery of his fraud scheme, Mr. Yaser doubled down,” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office. “Despite his efforts to discredit law enforcement, the full extent of his crimes was revealed and thwarted. I am thankful for the hard work of our investigators and partners to hold Mr. Yaser accountable for his actions.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, with the assistance of the National Insurance Crime Bureau.  This case is being prosecuted by George J.C. Jacobs, III, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.  Dominique J. Park, a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, also participated in the investigation and indictment of this case.

4:21-CR-6042-MKD-1

21 Year-Old Moxee Gang Member Sentenced to 12 Years In Federal Prison for Possessing Firearms in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime - 01/27/23

Yakima, Washington – On January 24, 2023, United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke sentenced Alexis Sanchez-Gomez, 21, of Moxee, Washington, to 12 years in federal prison after his guilty plea to Possession of Firearms in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking crime.  Sanchez-Gomez, a documented member of the Lower Valley Locos (“LVL”) street gang, will also begin five years of court supervision after he is released from custody. 

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, on October 21, 2021, there was a gang related drive-by shooting in the City of Yakima.  A 34-year old man was killed while simply walking down the sidewalk wearing red colored clothing. As in communities up and down the West Coast, the color red is associated with some Norteno street gangs in the Yakima Valley, while the color blue is associated with some Sureno street gangs.  The Yakima Police Department immediately began an investigation.  Law enforcement gathered evidence that established that the shooter was likely a member or associated with a Sureno street gang.  As the investigation progressed, the lead detective discovered that after the drive-by shooting, the shooter fled to Sanchez-Gomez’s residence in Moxee, Washington.  The Yakima Police Department coordinated with the Moxee Police Department and gathered additional information. 

On November 19, 2021, the Yakima Police Department and other law enforcement agencies executed a search warrant at the Sanchez-Gomez residence.  Officers entered the residence and discovered a marijuana grow operation and a quantity of methamphetamine.  Officers entered the Defendant’s bedroom and observed that it was decorated with gang-related graffiti.  The officers also discovered three firearms, including an AK-47 style rifle.  As the search continued, the officers discovered magazines and ammunition.  DEA was contacted and began an investigation, which revealed that Sanchez-Gomez had been selling methamphetamine.  DEA also discovered that Sanchez-Gomez had repeated contacts with law enforcement in recent years.  The DEA discovered that in October 2019, Sanchez-Gomez attempted to elude a police vehicle and was involved in a hit-and-run.  Two months later, in December 2019, Sanchez-Gomez was again arrested after being found in possession of a firearm.  In September 2020, Sanchez-Gomez was sentenced to 90 days in jail for the three felony offenses. 

Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, commended the joint efforts of law enforcement: “Gang-related violence is a scourge in the Yakima Valley and elsewhere.  My office will continue to work with law enforcement professionals from multiple agencies to investigate and prosecute armed individuals who are involved with drugs and criminal street gangs.  Removing these individuals from society will make all of our neighborhoods and communities safer and stronger.”

According to DEA, the drive-by shooting investigation was completed, and resulted in the Yakima Police Department arresting both the suspected driver and suspected shooter.  The cases are currently pending in Yakima County Superior Court.  “This investigation demonstrates how seriously DEA takes its obligations to its state, local, and federal partners.  We are committed to bringing our investigative expertise whenever necessary against individuals who seek to harm our communities,” said Jacob D. Galvan, Acting Special Agent in Charge, DEA Seattle Field Division.

Matt Murray, Chief of the Yakima Police Department, highlighted the close working relationship between YPD, DEA, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  “Meaningfully addressing violent crime – and the drug and gun crimes that so often turn violent – requires a collaborative effort between all of our local and federal partners.  This case is just one example of the ways we work together to reduce and address crime and improve the lives and safety of the people in this community.” Chief Murray also urged anyone involved in lives of violence and crime to change what they are doing: “STOP now.  Take the assistance that is available through our community partners to change your life.  If you do not stop engaging in violence, we will engage to stop you.  As this case shows, the result may be a lengthy sentence in state or federal custody.”

This case was prosecuted under the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program.  PSN is a federal, state, and local law enforcement collaboration to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals responsible for violent crimes in our neighborhoods. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement to specifically identify the criminals responsible for violent crime in the Eastern District of Washington and pursue criminal prosecution.

This case was investigated by the Yakima Police Department, the Moxee Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tom Hanlon. 

1:22-CR-2012-MKD-2

Former Spokane Doctor Sentenced to Eight Years in Federal Prison After Paying Dark Web Hitmen $60,000 in Bitcoin to Kidnap Estranged Wife and Assault Former Colleague - 01/24/23

Spokane – On January 24, 2023, Senior United States District Judge William Fremming Nielsen sentenced Ronald Craig Ilg, 56, of Spokane, Washington, to 96 months in federal prison for hiring hitmen on the dark web to kidnap and assault multiple victims.  It was the highest sentence available under the terms of Ilg’s plea agreement.  In addition to ordering Ilg to spend eight years in federal prison, Judge Nielsen ordered him to pay more than $25,000 in restitution and a $100,000 fine.  Ilg will also spend three years on federal supervision following his release from prison.  Judge Nielsen described Ilg’s conduct as “really egregious, and even evil,” and highlighted that “not only were there numerous communications, you spent a lot of money to hire these people to ensure what you asked them to do would be done.”  Finally, Judge Nielsen emphasized that Ilg’s crimes were all the more egregious given his career as a doctor: “A doctor’s goal in life is to protect people, keeping people alive – not taking overt steps to do the opposite.” 

According to court documents and information from the sentencing hearing, Ilg, a former neonatologist in Spokane, transmitted dozens of messages in early 2021 through the dark web as part of a plot to injure a former professional colleague and to have his estranged wife kidnapped. Using the moniker “Scar215” and password “Mufassa$$” to conceal his identity, Ilg sent more than $60,000 in Bitcoin in furtherance of his nefarious schemes. 

With respect to the first victim, Ilg directed the purported hitmen to assault a Spokane-area doctor, specifying that the victim “should be given a significant beating that is obvious. It should injure both hands significantly or break the hands.” As part of this scheme, Ilg paid more than $2,000 in Bitcoin, sent the purported hitmen the victim’s address, and provided the hitmen with a link to the victim’s picture. In followup messages, Ilg directed “I would like to see evidence that it happened.  If this goes well, I have another, more complicated job” for “[a]n entirely different target with entirely different objectives.” 

Ilg also solicited purported hitmen to kidnap a second victim: his estranged wife.  Specifically, Ilg directed that she be kidnapped and injected with heroin – all so she would drop divorce proceedings that were pending at the time and return to a failed relationship with Ilg. Even though Ilg was subject to a no-contact order, he devised a bonus structure if the victim was in fact kidnapped and certain goals were achieved.  Ilg again promised the hitmen that he had “other jobs worth quite a bit to accomplish in the near future. So, if all goes well, then we can work together on a few other things also.” In all, Ilg paid more than $60,000 in Bitcoin so the hitmen would kidnap this victim.

After the FBI obtained copies of Ilg’s dark web messages, he also obstructed justice.  First, during a voluntary interview with the FBI, Ilg falsely claimed he paid the hitmen to kill him, rather than his victims.  Second, Ilg sent a letter to a key witness against him, begging the witness to marry him so he could control whether she testified. He even offered to pay tuition for the witness’s children to attend St. Aloysius Catholic School and Gonzaga Preparatory School.  Ilg also directed the witness to destroy evidence by burning Ilg’s letter. More recently, and after pleading guilty to his crimes, Ilg sought “a book or movie deal” so that Ilg could obtain “a lot of financial gain” from his crimes.

“This case demonstrates how violent offenders exploit cyberspace and cryptocurrency to further their criminal agendas,” said Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.  “Mr. Ilg solicited and paid for multiple dark web hitmen to target the two victims in this case. Mr. Ilg even stated he would target additional victims if the hitmen followed through with the plan to harm these first two victims.” U.S. Attorney Waldref continued: “The amount of money Mr. Ilg paid to advance his schemes and his efforts to obstruct justice in this case indicate Mr. Ilg would stop at nothing to maintain control over his victims. Thankfully, the FBI learned of Mr. Ilg’s scheme and prevented him from following through on his plans to harm another doctor and kidnap his estranged wife. I am grateful to the tremendous investigative agents and Assistant United States Attorneys Richard Barker and Patrick Cashman, who spent significant time and resources to ensure that our community continues to be safe and strong, and that individuals who perpetrate violent and cyber crimes are held accountable.”

“Mr. Ilg’s actions read like plot of a true-crime show, but his intentions had real-life consequences,” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office. “Despite his efforts to remain anonymous and subsequently cover up his activities, our investigators were able to prevent innocent people from being harmed. This case demonstrates that even the anonymity of the dark web will not prevent the FBI from identifying and disrupting individuals who are intent on engaging in criminal activity. I am thankful for our partnership with the US Attorney’s Office, which brought Mr. Ilg to justice.”

“The victims in this case demonstrated incredible courage,” stated Assistant United States Attorney Richard Barker, who led the prosecution. “Even before Mr. Ilg sent his terrifying messages through the dark web and paid more than $60,000 to multiple purported hitmen, Mr. Ilg sought to manipulate and maintain control his victims – sending them harassing text messages, placing GPS trackers on their cars, and even subjecting them to domestic abuse. Following his arrest, Mr. Ilg even tried to thwart the case against him by obstructing justice. Incredibly, he even attempted to profit from his crimes by offering to sell his story to the media.” AUSA Barker continued, “I’m grateful for the victims’ willingness to stand up to Mr. Ilg. As a result of their courage and the incredible work of the FBI, Mr. Ilg – who was a doctor and had a clean criminal history – will spend the better part of the next decade in federal prison.” 

This case was investigated by the Spokane Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Richard R. Barker and Patrick J. Cashman, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington, prosecuted this case.  Brian M. Donovan, Civil Chief for the United States Attorney’s Office, assisted with seeking restitution and the imposition of a fine against Ilg. 

2:21-cr-00049-WFN

Spokane Man Sentenced to 5 Years for Church Arson - 01/17/23

Spokane, Washington –United States Senior District Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson sentenced Rios A. Mirabal, 25, of Spokane, Washington, to 5 years in federal prison for arson of a building used in interstate commerce. Judge Peterson also ordered Mirabal to pay restitution in an amount $4,981,859.07 for damages caused from a fire he started at the St. Charles Parrish and School, located at 4515 N. Alberta Street in Spokane. Mirabal will also serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison. Mirabal pleaded guilty to the offense on September 7, 2022. He has been in federal custody since his arrest on March 26, 2021. Mirabal’s 5-year sentence was the mandatory minimum permitted by statute for the offense. 

According to information presented at Mirabal’s change of plea and sentencing hearings, the fire was first observed at 1:30 am when a patrol officer with the Spokane Police Department stopped in the church parking lot. The officer noticed an orange light coming from a panel of windows. The officer investigated and saw a fire through the windows. Shortly after reporting the fire, the office heard a “boom” sound inside of the church and noticed the fire was spreading to the church roof. A second officer arrived and alerted a priest, who had been asleep in a parish residence attached to the church. The Spokane Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire, which damaged to areas associated with the church and parish school, including the parish residence. Security video later revealed that Mirabal broke into the church and entered numerous rooms with a lit candle. Smoke began coming out of the doors minutes after Mirabal exited each room. Mirabal also removed several bottles of communion wine on which he left fingerprints that identified him as the intruder. At the sentencing hearing, Judge Peterson noted that Mirabal had a history of both mental illness and drug abuse. There was no evidence indicating that Mirabal was motivated by any personal animosity toward the church. 

Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, praised the investigative team for identifying Mirabal as the intruder who started the fire and noted the resources available through the Federal Bureau of Prisons to assist persons with both mental illness and drug addiction. U.S. Attorney Waldref noted, “but for the timely intervention of a single patrol officer in noticing that something was not right, the fire would have gone undetected for much longer and could have resulted in a loss of life. Patrol officers continue to deserve our respect and support as they carry out their important role in protecting our community.”  

This case was investigated by Spokane Resident Office of the ATF, with significant assistance from the Spokane Police Department and Spokane Fire Department. The case was prosecuted by Timothy J. Ohms and Russel E. Smoot, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington. 

2:21-CR-0093-RMP

Omak Man Sentenced to 96 Months in Federal Prison for Shooting on the Colville Indian Reservation - 01/17/23

Spokane, Washington – On January 13, 2023, United States District Court Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Chance The Wind Smith, age 32, of Omak, Washington, to 96 months in federal prison for a violent shooting that took place on the Colville Indian Reservation in September 2021. Judge Rice also imposed three years of federal supervision upon Smith’s release from custody. Smith pled guilty to charges of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Indian Country and Theft in Indian Country in August 2022.   

In announcing the sentence, Judge Rice varied upward from the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines range and adopted the United States’ recommendation of 96 months in federal custody.  Judge Rice specifically noted the effects of Smith’s conduct on his victims and the seriousness of the offense, including that the shooting took place in the presence of small children.

According to court documents and proceedings, on the night of September 11, 2021, Colville Tribal Police and emergency medical technicians responded to a shooting in Omak, Washington. A victim had a gunshot wound to his abdomen from a .357 caliber Sig Sauer handgun. The victim was rushed to the local hospital and had to be life-flighted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for life-saving measures. Several eyewitnesses reported that Smith, who had fled the scene, shot the victim in the stomach and stole the victim’s Dodge Charger. As Smith was driving away in the stolen car, he almost ran over a five-year old child. An audio and video recording of the incident demonstrated that Smith physically assaulted a female witness just seconds before the shooting and the theft of the victim’s car.  Fortunately, the victim survived, and he continues to recover from the injuries sustained during the shooting.

“My office is committed to prosecuting those who commit violence in Indian country,” U.S. Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref stated. “I’m grateful for all victims and witnesses who come forward to report crime. When we build trust between law enforcement and members of our community, we make Eastern Washington safer and stronger.” U.S. Attorney Waldref continued, “Native Americans experience some of the highest rates of violence in the country, a situation that is all the more tragic in light of the generations of trauma already suffered by Indigenous people. The Colville Tribal Police and the FBI did an incredible job of investigating this tragic crime. We are grateful for the tremendous partnership between the FBI and Tribal law enforcement, which helped achieve justice for the victim and his family.”

“Violence on our state’s Indian Reservations is at an intolerable level,” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office. “When you consider the impact Mr. Smith’s crimes had on children, who were innocent witnesses, this significant sentence is warranted. I am grateful for the professionalism of our investigators and partners who work these difficult cases.”

The case was investigated by the Colville Tribal Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by Richard R. Barker, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

2:21CR00146-TOR-1

Awareness Reception
Awareness Reception
U.S. Attorney Addresses 2023 Human Trafficking Community Reception (Photo) - 01/12/23

Chief Law Enforcement Officer for Eastern District of Washington 
Focuses on Victim-Centered Approach and Wraparound Care

Spokane, Washington – On January 11, 2023, the National Day for Human Trafficking Awareness, Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, addressed a community reception at the Spokane’s Central Public Library.  The reception was sponsored by Lutheran Community Services, which is one of the United States Attorney’s Office’s principal partners in fighting human trafficking and advocating for survivors.  The program included a training session for victim advocates, and was attended by law enforcement personnel, anti-trafficking advocates, and resource providers from around the region, including the Kalispell Tribe. 

“Every day is Human Trafficking awareness at the United States Attorney’s Office,” said U.S. Attorney Waldref.  “Human trafficking, whether in the form of forced labor, sexual exploitation against minors, or forced, coerced, or fraudulently-induced sexual exploitation of adults, is modern-day slavery.  It lurks in places obvious and secret, online and on the street, in the Eastern District and elsewhere.  We will never have a safe and strong community without ensuring that everyone is free from coerced labor and sex.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office is delighted to continue working with our partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement, alongside victim advocates and resource providers, to seek out, investigate, and prosecute this crime while providing wraparound services to survivors in a comprehensive, victim-centered approach.”

U.S. Attorney Waldref noted that David Herzog, an experienced trafficking prosecutor in her Office, serves as the Human Trafficking Coordinator for the Eastern District, and works closely with anti-trafficking agents and investigators at the FBI, HSI, and local law enforcement agencies.  She also highlighted the tireless efforts of Jolene Jones and Petra Frandsen, the victim/witness specialists at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, who liaise with victims, witnesses, and the non-governmental organizations that provide wraparound care to survivors.

Yakima_Seizure.jpg
Yakima_Seizure.jpg
FBI Task Force Investigation Results in One of the Largest-Ever Drug Seizures in Yakima County, Washington (Photo) - 01/11/23

Yakima, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, conducted a comprehensive federal investigation concerning drug trafficking within the City of Yakima.  The investigation culminated with the execution of multiple federal search warrants in Yakima County. 

According to law enforcement sources, on December 28, 2022  the FBI Task Force seized more than approximately 120,000 fentanyl-laced pills and more than 42 pounds of methamphetamine. The FBI and its local partners also seized a loaded Beretta pistol and approximately $152,000 in U.S. Currency, including approximately $100,000 that was buried outside the residence.  In connection with the seizure, Eliseo Equihua-Zamora was indicted on January 10, 2022, with Possession with Intent to Distribute Over 50 Grams of Actual (pure) Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute over 400 grams of Fentanyl, and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.  Equihua-Zamora is presumed innocent until proven guilty and is facing charges in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.

U.S. Attorney Waldref commended the joint efforts of law enforcement for removing such a large quantity of illegal narcotics from the community.  U.S. Attorney Waldref stated, “Illegal narcotics, and fentanyl in particular, have become a scourge across the United States. I’m grateful to the FBI and our critical task force partners for working together to combat this dangerous poison. Without their combined efforts, more than 100,000 deadly fentanyl-laced pills and more than 40 pounds of methamphetamine would not have been removed from the community. As a result, our neighborhoods and communities are safer and stronger.”

“Every time the FBI and our partners seize these dangerous and highly potent drugs, we are also removing from the community hundreds of thousands of opportunities for someone, perhaps even an unknowing young person, to make one bad choice and become addicted or overdose,” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Seattle Field Office. “As the drug landscape changes in our country, and fentanyl is hiding in unknown quantities amongst other drugs or being represented as another drug entirely, it is critical that law enforcement disrupt the flow of this poison into Washington state.”
 

“The recent successful results of an investigation by the FBI Task Force highlights the importance of federal and local agencies working together for public safety,” stated Yakima County Sheriff Robert Udell. He continued, “The investigation seized a significant quantity of fentanyl and methamphetamine in the Yakima area, and these possibly fatal illegal drugs were removed from our community. I am pleased with the results of the FBI Task Force, and our deputies look forward to working together with the Task Force to achieve further success in removing illegal drugs from our community.”

This ongoing case is being investigated by the FBI Task Force, which members include the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington State Department of Corrections, Homeland Security Investigations, and United States Border Patrol. The FBI Task Force was assisted by the Moxee Police Department and the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tom Hanlon. 

An indictment and a complaint are merely allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

1:23-CR-2004-SAB

Attached Media Files: Yakima_Seizure.jpg