9:05 AM: Thanks to those who tipped us to an operation in The Junction this morning involving King County Sheriff’s Deputies seen in the parking lot behind businesses in the 4700 block of California SW. A KCSO spokesperson at the scene told WSB that they are investigating possible “illegally obtained alcohol” and had a warrant to search Puerto Vallarta Restaurant. They are questioning “several people” but had not made any arrests as of the time we spoke with them. Deputies also are at a home about a block away. We are working to find out more and will add to this story as we get additional details.
10:22 AM UPDATE: We noted the presence of at least one Washington State Liquor Control Board agent at the scene, so we asked LCB spokesperson Brian Smith if his agency has any additional information. He says it’s a KCSO operation and they “are there at KCSO’s request to provide technical expertise.”
3:11 PM UPDATE: Update from KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Kathleen Larson, who we spoke with this morning at the scene; she provided an update via e-mail: “Today Detectives with the King County sheriff’s Office served a search warrant at the Puerto Vallarta Mexican restaurant in the 4700 block of California Ave. SW. The owner of the restaurant is suspected of buying alcohol stolen from local retail stores and using it in his business. The suspect is a 47 year old male. He was booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Trafficking in Stolen Property and Organized Retail Theft.” We also have confirmed that the house searched a block away is that of the restaurant’s owner. We don’t know yet what was found at the two locations, but we did note boxes being loaded into a law-enforcement van behind the restaurant earlier this afternoon.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: The suspect, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, is being released from jail this afternoon, with a decision on charges or no charges to be made at a later date.