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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
For More Information Contact:

Jeffrey M. Eig
Public Information Officer
Seattle Field Division
May 11 , 2005

DEA and ICE Target Major Drug Trafficking Organization

MAY 11--Yakima , Washington – Today, Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge, Seattle Field Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Leigh Winchell, Special Agent in Charge, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and James McDevitt, United States Attorney in Eastern Washington, announced the culmination of joint DEA/ICE enforcement operation “Block Watch”.

Enforcement operations against this group began in the early morning hours of May 10, 2005, as agents and officers from DEA, ICE, United States Marshal’s Service, ATF, TSA, Office of Inspector General, Yakima Valley Drug Task Force, Law Enforcement Against Drugs Task Force, Yakima Police Department, Yakima County Sheriffs Office, Union Gap PD, Goldendale PD, Sunnyside PD, Kittitas County Sheriffs Office and Washington State Patrol executed eleven search warrants and arrested 15 individuals on drug and immigration violations. This early morning operation also resulted in the seizure of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, weapons and currency.

DEA Special Agent in Charge, Rodney G. Benson , stated that “Methamphetamine has continued to plague the Yakima Valley , ruining lives and putting the community at risk. Operation Block Watch targeted a major methamphetamine distribution organization which, for the past few years, has callously pushed this poison for personal gain. This law enforcement accomplishment is a direct reflection of the coalitions established by DEA with state, local and federal partners.”

The United States Attorney’s Office in Eastern Washington will charge the individuals arrested in Federal court with drug, weapon and immigration violations. These individuals, many of whom are repeat offenders, face stiff penalties if convicted.

Every Defendant Is Presumed Innocent Until and Unless Proven Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.


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