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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
October 10, 2005

“Operation Street Sweeper" Drug Arrests in Yakima
DEA and Yakima Police Target Drug Trafficking Threat

Yakima, Washington – Today, Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge, Seattle Field Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Sam Granato, Chief, Yakima Police Department, and James McDevitt, United States Attorney in Eastern Washington, announced the culmination of a joint enforcement operation “Street Sweeper.” This two-week operation targeted street level and mid-level drug traffickers operating throughout the city of Yakima. The investigation was spearheaded by DEA and the Yakima Valley Narcotics Task Force and resulted in the identification and closure of 17 drug distribution houses. In addition to controlled substances, numerous firearms were also seized.

Enforcement operations against the targets began in the early morning hours of October 18, 2005 and continued thru October 20, 2005. Agents and officers from DEA, ATFE, Yakima Valley Drug Task Force, Yakima Police Department, Yakima County Sheriffs Office, Department of Corrections, Union Gap PD, Goldendale PD, and the Washington State Patrol executed 17 search warrants and arrested numerous individuals on drug violations. This operation resulted in the seizure of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, weapons and currency. The Washington National Guard, Northwest HIDTA, and the Yakima County Prosecutors Office also assisted in this investigation. The Office of National Drug Control Policy and the DEA funded the investigation.

DEA Special Agent in Charge, Rodney G. Benson, stated, “Drug trafficking at all levels impacts the residents of Yakima and the surrounding area, especially the young and vulnerable. Operation Street Sweeper targeted a significant number of poly drug traffickers lurking on street corners and enticing the weak into drug dens where traffickers pushed their poison for monetary gain. This successful operation is yet another example of our combined federal, state, and local efforts to remove drug traffickers from wherever they ply their trade and make the community a safer place.”

Yakima Police Chief, Samuel Granato, stated, “Drug trafficking has taken a toll upon the community in Yakima. The Yakima Police Department will continue to target drug traffickers with all available resources at our disposal. The actions this week allow the community to take a stand and make a statement against this criminal activity.”

The Yakima County Prosecutors Office will charge these individuals with appropriate crimes for drug trafficking and other related activity. Charges to be filed include Delivery of a Controlled Substance and Possession with Intent to Distribute. The United States Attorney’s Office in Eastern Washington may charge some of those individuals arrested in Federal court with drug, weapon, and immigration violations where appropriate.

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


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