Seattle/ Crime & Emergencies
AI Assisted Icon
Published on May 15, 2024
Feds Indict 13 Suspected in Western Washington Drug Trafficking Ring, Massive Seizure Includes Fentanyl and FirearmsSource: U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington

Thirteen individuals are on the hook in a massive drug ring, accused of funneling narcotics including fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine into western Washington. Ten of the suspects are now in custody facing indictments on drug trafficking charges. The feds are actively chasing down the remaining three, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington.

Gorman slammed the defendants for their apparent disregard for the law, stating, "These defendants were brazenly bringing large loads of drugs to western Washington and didn't hesitate to arm themselves with high-powered firearms." Despite numerous traffic stops in Oregon and Washington that led to drug seizures by authorities, the illicit activities seemingly continued without pause.

Hector Duran Aldaco, 23, of Federal Way, Washington, is at the head of the ring, part of a ten-person indictment, and also facing charges related to firearm use in drug trafficking. As reported by the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington, other key players in the conspiracy named in the indictments include Damian Pina-Raymundo, 19, Daniel Moreno, 24, Rogelio Pena, 21, David Padilla, 22, Neldin Licona Rivera, 33, and Sebastian Esquivel Rojas, 20.

An additional indictment charges Salina Rose Atsemet, 26, with possession to distribute cocaine, following a February seizure that netted one kilo of the drug and two firearms. Further bolstering the case against the network, Brian Axel Pedraza Cisneros, 20, and Jose Rodolfo Aguilar Cortes, 21, both from Federal Way, were indicted for conspiracy to distribute narcotics after cops snagged 14 kilos of cocaine and a firearm in March. Law enforcement's haul before the recent arrests included an overwhelming 59 kilograms of fentanyl pills, 81 kilograms of methamphetamine, 21 kilos of cocaine, and eleven firearms.

The charges mentioned in the indictments are, as yet, merely allegations. All accused parties remain presumed innocent until proven guilty, as per the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington. The investigation and subsequent takedown form part of a larger effort by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces to disrupt and dismantle high-level criminal organizations across the United States.