Law enforcement teams from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Seattle Police Department and IRS Criminal Investigation executed 24 search or arrest warrants taking four people into custody who are allegedly connected to a drug trafficking conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman.

The drug conspirators have ties to suppliers in Mexico and Colombia, and law enforcement in those countries are assisting with the investigation and search warrants.

One of the suspects – Ramon Duarte Garcia, 37 – is a citizen of Mexico who was residing in Kent.

“Whenever possible, we try to trace both the origin of drugs and the money going back to those who supply the drugs, said U.S. Attorney Gorman. “We want to ensure that those who would poison our communities – by trafficking drugs from afar – are held accountable for their actions in the United States. I am pleased with the collaborative work between law enforcement not only in the United States, but also with our partners in Colombia, whose collective efforts put a significant dent in this particular drug supply chain.”

“This cooperative effort is a win for the good guys and a tremendous example of the truly international cooperation needed to tackle this immense threat,” said David F. Reames, Special Agent in Charge, DEA Seattle Field Division. “I appreciate the extensive cooperation between the DEA, Seattle Police Department, Internal Revenue Service, and the Colombian National Police to create a top-to-bottom success by indicting Mexican cartel members, Colombian drug producers, and American distributors.”

“This operation is a fantastic example of collaborative police work between Seattle PD, the DEA, the IRS, and the Columbian National Police.  This case highlights how Seattle PD will work tirelessly with its law enforcement partners domestically and internationally to make our community safer.”

“Following the money has taken this investigation to places both close and far from home, allowing us to disrupt this large-scale drug trafficking chain from end-to-end,” said Special Agent in Charge Adam Jobes, IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Seattle Field Office. “Teamwork and collaboration are indispensable to investigations this far-reaching, and we are proud to be working with some of the most dedicated law enforcement partners here in the U.S. as well as internationally. We are committed to keeping our communities safe from the scourge of illicit drugs, no matter where these investigations may take us.”

Four people were arrested today in the Western District of Washington and District of New Jersey, and they will have initial appearances and detention hearings over the next few weeks. Those arrested include:

  • Ramon Duarte Garcia, 37, a citizen of Mexico residing in Kent, Washington.
  • Humberto Lopez Rodriguez, 30, a citizen of Mexico, formerly of Renton, Washington, currently imprisoned at Federal Correctional Institution Lompoc, California
  • Curtis McDaniel, 55, a U.S. citizen residing in Tukwila, Washington.
  • Manuel Garcia Hernandez, 39, a citizen of Mexico, residing in Renton, Washington.
  • Jose Luis Villafañe Osorio, 35, a citizen of Colombia, residing in Plainfield, New Jersey

Duarte Garcia was identified as a significant drug supplier when law enforcement stopped him driving back to the Pacific Northwest with 12 pounds of methamphetamine in his vehicle, along with a stolen firearm and $10,000 in drug trafficking proceeds.

Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized 84,000 fentanyl pills, more than a kilogram of fentanyl powder, 32 kilograms of cocaine, 15 kilograms of methamphetamine nearly three kilograms of heroin, nine firearms and $71,000 in drug proceeds. Today alone they recovered nine guns, including an AK-47, 2.5 kilograms of cocaine, and a pound of methamphetamine.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

The investigation is being led by the DEA and Seattle Police Department. The IRS Criminal Investigation and OCDETF Auditor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office are conducting the financial investigation that is focused on the money launderers responsible for the transfer of significant sums of drug trafficking proceeds to sources of supply in Mexico and Colombia. Additional assistance was provided by Renton Police Department, Centralia Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General (HUD OIG), Washington State Patrol, Pierce County and Valley SWAT teams. 

The Colombian National Police (CNP) and Colombian Prosecutor’s Office (Fiscalia General) partnered with U.S. law enforcement on this investigation.

The cases from this investigation are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Joe Silvio and C. Andrew Colasurdo in the Western District of Washington.

Scott Schaefer

Founder/Publisher/Editor. Three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), Director, Producer, Journalist and more...

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you to the OCDETF! Huge props for a great job and doing all you can to keep us safe! 💯

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