One individual was taken into custody in Mountlake Terrace Thursday as part of a West Coast oxycontin drug bust involving hundreds of federal, state and local law enforcement officers. The Mountlake Terrace suspect appeared in District Federal Court in Seattle Thursday afternoon following the apprehension.
The action resulted from a 32-count federal indictment handed down in the Eastern District of Washington in January, 2013. When executing sixteen federal search warrants Thursday morning, officers took into custody 28 suspects in Los Angeles, 12 in Spokane and one in Mountlake Terrace. Additionally, Los Angeles police arrested three subjects in a separate by related investigation; two more suspects already in the custody of the State of California were tied to the investigation.
The indictment charges numerous individuals with criminal violations relating to the distribution, possession and attempted possession of oxycodone hydrochloride. Some of the suspects face potential mandatory minimum sentences of 20 years in prison. Authorities have also filed a notice of criminal forfeiture seeking a money judgment of $20 million, the amount allegedly collected from the sale of the controlled substance.
“Members of this ring regularly circulate between Los Angeles and Spokane to fuel their customers’ insatiable appetite and pharmaceutical addiction,” said Seattle DEA Special Agent in Charge Matthew G. Barnes. “For too long, their web of destruction has fed upon, and profited from, the misery of many Washingtonians, only to leave a surplus of illegally obtained pain killers and ruined lives in their wake. I would like to commend the ongoing cooperative efforts of our federal, state and local partners to keep our communities safe.”