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Multi-county drug raid hits house in Delano

 


A house in Delano was raided July 16 as part of a larger drug bust in Eastern Washington involving hundreds of officers of multiple law enforcement agencies that served 19 search warrants in three counties.

A federal search warrant was issued and executed on a house on Lake View Boulevard on the morning of July 16, confirmed Jodie Underwood, a public information officer at the Drug Enforcement Administration in Seattle.

Underwood was unable to say if anyone was arrested at the Delano residence.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) led the enforcement action targeting a methamphetamine and heroin drug trafficking organization with ties to a Washington state-based street gang identified as the Eastside Familia Norteno (ESF), a July 16 press release from those federal organizations states. 

The case involved over 300 law enforcement officials, including federal agents and state and local officers, who executed 19 federal search warrants in Grant, Yakima and Adams counties. 

The raid followed a July 10 federal grand jury indictment in the Eastern District of Washington charging 16 individuals for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin. The lead defendants in this case, the agencies stated, are Luis Manuel Farias-Carendas, 40, of Moses Lake, and Joshua Isaac Stine, 34, of Ephrata. They are accused of being the leaders of the drug trafficking conspiracy. Both were taken into custody in the action. 

Twelve others named in the indictment were also in custody, pending an initial appearance in federal court in Spokane, Washington: Patrick Elliot Pearson, 47, of Moses Lake; Cristian Misael Gomez, 23, of Grant County; Luis Manuel Ramirez, 25, of Moses Lake; Zacarias Martinez-Garza, 23, of Moses Lake; Mariano Ruiz-Balderas, 19, of Moses Lake; Jesse Leon Manion Jr., 55, of Moses Lake; Heather Elaine Keating, 41, of Moses Lake; Leonel Caballero, 62, of Warden; Forrest Walker Herzog, 34, of Moses Lake; Amy Jo Dygert, 33, of Moses Lake; Michael Edward McLaughlin, 59, of Ephrata; Jesus Valenica-Morfin, 31, of Yakima. 

“One additional person, Tomas Gomez, 49, of Los Angeles, Calif., was also arrested during the operation and charged by federal complaint. 

The release said 11 individuals were arrested in Moses Lake, one in Ephrata, two in Yakima, and one in Warden. 

Agents and officers also seized pound quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, over 50 firearms and U.S. currency. 

“This investigation is a continuation of law enforcement efforts in December 2017, which focused on violent drug traffickers who were operating in Grant County,” the release said. 

That earlier investigation had resulted in 24 individuals who eventually pled guilty in federal court and in the seizure of eight pounds of methamphetamine, 10 vehicles, $25,000 and more than 80 firearms. 

“The following agencies provided significant assistance for today’s enforcement action: ATF, DEA, USBP, United States Marshals Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Moses Lake Police Department, Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team, Washington State Patrol, Idaho State Police, Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Law Enforcement Against Drugs, Yakima Police Department, Columbia River Drug Task Force, North Central Washington Narcotics Task Force, Warden Police Department, Ephrata Police Department and Quincy Police Department. 

“The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington Caitlin Baunsgard.

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