FEB 11 (SEATTLE) – Mitchell Wright, 33, of Bothell, WA, made his initial appearance today in federal court on an indictment charging him with three counts of drug trafficking. The federal magistrate detained defendant, pending a full detention hearing scheduled on February 20, 2014.
Wright was a commissioned law enforcement officer employed by the King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) from 2002 to July 9, 2013. In 2009, Wright was assigned to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Seattle Field Office where he was commissioned by the United States as a Task Force Officer (TFO) responsible for investigating violations of the Controlled Substances Act. He resigned from office in July 2013.
The investigation was led by the DEA, working in conjunction with the King County Sheriff's Office and Shoreline Police Department. Additionally, Wright is pending trial in King County on state charges stemming from his 2013 conduct as a DEA Task Force Officer prior to resigning from law enforcement.
Defendant faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a statutory mandatory minimum of five years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The court ordered a trial date of April 21, 2014 before U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah K. Bolstad, a prosecutor in the Violent Crime Unit of the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Oregon. The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Washington is recused from this investigation and prosecution.