News Release
April 10, 2007

Wiretap Investigation Takes Down Heroin and Cocaine Distribution Ring
Six Arrested, $337,000 Cash and Multiple Pounds of Heroin and Cocaine Seized in King and Snohomish Counties

APR 10 -- Special Agent in Charge Rodney Benson announced today that six people were arrested during early morning raids on a heroin and cocaine distribution ring operating throughout King and Snohomish Counties. The arrests come following a nine month investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). DEA Special Agent in Charge Benson stated: “Today we have dismantled a drug trafficking cell which brought significant amounts of cocaine and heroin from Mexico into Washington State and Snohomish County. The DEA, working with our federal and state law enforcement partners, is committed to bringing to justice those organizations whose mission is to pollute our communities with drugs for profit.”

As part of the probe, investigators utilized a confidential informant as well as court authorized wire taps of the lead defendant’s telephone. The investigation revealed that the organization was bringing heroin and cocaine up from Mexico and distributing it in the two counties.

The operation was dubbed “Los Intocables” or “The Untouchables” as a result of the statement made by the leader of the drug distribution organization that he was “untouchable” by law enforcement. The ring leader, JAVIER SANCHEZ-VASQUEZ, was recently enrolled at the University of Washington - Bothell.

In addition to searching numerous vehicles, search warrants were served at various addresses in both King and Snohomish Counties. 23 pounds of heroin, 33 pounds of cocaine, and over $337,000 cash were seized in the searches, as well as several vehicles.

The United States Marshals Service’s Fugitive Task Force assisted in this investigation. The task force was able to locate and arrest GABRIEL RAMIREZ CASTRO this morning. Also assisting the investigation were officers from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Kirkland Police Department and Marysville Police Department, as well as the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force.