Crime Watch: Myers Way house raided in multi-agency, multi-location drug-trafficking investigation

(WSB photo)
We took that photo this morning in the 10200 block of Myers Way – just south of the city limits – after a texted tip (206-293-6302 any time) from someone who reported seeing a major presence of Washington State Patrol and FBI agents there. When we asked the FBI about it, they told us information would be forthcoming shortly on a multi-agency, multi-location operation – and here it is:

Federal, state and local law enforcement partners made 18 arrests and searched more than a dozen locations in connection with a two-year investigation into a violent drug trafficking organization, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. The organization distributed cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine across a wide swath of the greater Seattle metro area. The defendants (were) scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle at 2:00 today.

“These defendants preyed on our community by supplying drugs in neighborhoods across Seattle, and demonstrated a willingness to use violence where it served their purposes,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “Their criminal activities included hiding weapons and using violence in homeless encampments located along Interstate-5.”

According to the indictment and court records, beginning in February 2013 law enforcement authorities used a variety of tools including telephone wire taps and confidential sources to infiltrate and interdict this drug organization. The investigation determined that the organization distributed approximately 15-20 kilos of cocaine, 10-15 kilos of heroin and 5 kilos of methamphetamine per month.

In addition, on multiple occasions members of the drug trafficking organization were arrested with firearms. In one instance a conspirator was arrested with a stolen firearm as he was leaving the ‘Jungle’ homeless encampment. During the investigation law enforcement seized drugs and cash including a September 2014 seizure of two kilograms of cocaine, one pound of methamphetamine and $14,000 cash from a rental car. In March 2015, investigators seized more than $32,000 from a hidden compartment in another vehicle.

Drug activity associated with the organization occurred over a wide geographic area with drug sales occurring at homes and near businesses in Seattle, Renton, Shoreline, and Kent. The drug transactions occurred in areas ranging from the parking lot of Viet Wah supermarket near South Jackson Street, the parking lot of Dick’s Drive-In on NE 45th Street, the parking lot of a gas station on Beacon Hill, and at a motel in Tukwila.

“Law enforcement partnerships made today’s operation a success,” said Special Agent in Charge Frank Montoya, Jr., of the FBI’s Seattle division. “Working together in task forces, we tracked these defendants on both sides of Lake Washington, up and down Interstate 5, and even to other states. Our joint resources enabled us to identify key elements of the organization and effectively shut it down.”

“This operation was the result of close cooperation and collaboration between several Federal, State, and Local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, including investigators from the Eastside Narcotics Task Force and the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force,” said Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett. “I am very proud of the hard work of these dedicated law enforcement professionals. As a result of this large scale operation, a well-organized drug trafficking operation has effectively been dismantled, and the entire Puget Sound region is safer.”

Those arrested on the indictment today include:

Son V. Tran, 28, of Seattle, Washington
Cuong T. Le, 57, of Federal Way, Washington
Niem H. Doan, aka “Linh,” 36, of Everett, Washington
Huy V. Tran, 39, of Seattle, Washington
Patrick Wong, aka “Minh” 48, of Seattle, Washington
Son T. Nguyen, aka “Nine Fingers” aka “Kim,” 42, of Seattle, Washington
Tam C. Nguyen, aka “Andy,” 39, of Tukwila, Washington
Brieanna K. Carlson, 27, of Seattle, Washington
Yen T. Vu, 54, of Seattle, Washington
Phuong A. Nguyen, aka “P,” 42, of Kent, Washington
Vinh Q. Nguyen, 29, of Seattle, Washington
Giang T. Ngo, aka “Uncle Jack,” 51, of Burien, Washington
Phuong H. Nguyen, aka “LJ,” 30, of Kent, Washington
Kenneth W. Thomas, 55, of SeaTac, Washington
Donald K. Jordan, aka “Looney,” 34, of Seattle, Washington
Donald C. Scholoff, 47, of Edmonds, Washington
Steven J. Connell, 47, of Seattle, Washington
Kimberle S. Alojasin, aka “Nguyen,” 56, of South King County, Washington

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. This investigation was led by the FBI’s Seattle Safe Streets Task Force (SSTF) and Bellevue Police Department’s Eastside Narcotics Task Force (ENTF). The SSTF includes task force officers from the Seattle Police Department, and the ENTF is composed of Bellevue Police Department officers, and agents and officers from the Washington State Patrol, US Postal Inspection Service, and the Redmond, Kirkland, and Mercer Island police departments in partnership with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Additional assistance was provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), King County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington State Department of Corrections, and the Kent and Tukwila police departments, and the Seattle Fire Department.

We don’t know yet if any of the indicted suspects identified above had ties to the Myers Way location (or any other local ties), the closest one on a list of 16 sites that’s visible in Federal court files online in connection with the case, but we’ll be checking court documents and will add anything more we find.

ADDED 4:18 PM: According to other documents just made public, the Myers Way location is the home of one of the indicted suspects mentioned above, Steven Connell.

18 Replies to "Crime Watch: Myers Way house raided in multi-agency, multi-location drug-trafficking investigation"

  • seattletimebandit April 21, 2015 (4:00 pm)

    Excellent! Finally nice to hear some good news about law enforcement doing good work.

  • Tony April 21, 2015 (4:39 pm)

    This is great news ! The more of these takedowns the better we all will be.

  • Nick April 21, 2015 (6:09 pm)

    Someone has already taken there place and drugs can still be bought anywhere in the area there is no shortage. The U.S. Attorney gets to grandstand like they did something important but really it’s a waste of resources. I’m sure they weren’t good people but this money would have been better used on treatment and public education. We can’t arrest our way out of this problem plus it breeds corruption at all levels of law enforcement.

  • Sandal42 April 21, 2015 (6:15 pm)

    Awesome Sauce!!

  • 33Pete April 21, 2015 (6:56 pm)

    Nick, treatment and public education only go so far. Seattle already spends 3rd in the nation behind only NY and LA on its homeless population (notwithstanding having a substantially smaller population than either city).

    This was a great service for the people of Seattle. Too bad you can’t see that. Seems you have an agenda with all you talk of grandstanding and corruption on a day where scum of the earth violent meth dealers were arrested.

  • Born on Alki 59 April 21, 2015 (7:22 pm)

    @Nick, your joking….right? They were moving 40 lbs. of this crap a month. Nice work by all agencies. Let’s hope these scumbags are put behind bars for a very long time.

  • JoB April 21, 2015 (7:26 pm)

    this kind of violence spills over into our neighborhoods…

  • Bsmomma April 21, 2015 (7:39 pm)

    I am thankful for every last ounce of narcotics that are taken off the streets. Thank You!!

  • m April 21, 2015 (8:12 pm)

    Great news! Well done.

    Doesn’t make me excited for the city to add additional homeless encampments

  • KBear April 21, 2015 (8:43 pm)

    Seems like people are conflating two or three problems here. Which is why we continue to fail at solving them.

  • Elle Nell April 21, 2015 (9:01 pm)

    Yes, this will make a dent… M- really? Hope you are not comparing a organized, somewhat regulated homeless encampment to what they are referring to as the “JuNGle”. There is no comparison.. And please do your research before making such a selfish remark… If you were homeless, you would wish to your maker that you had a regulated, homeless encampment to reside in and not a “Jungle” to be preyed upon. Other peoples shoes…

  • evergreen April 21, 2015 (9:30 pm)

    Best news in a long, long time.

  • drahcir61 April 21, 2015 (9:38 pm)

    I wonder what it takes to get a nickname like “Nine Fingers” … hmmmm. lol

  • miws April 22, 2015 (7:36 am)

    … If you were homeless, you would wish to your maker that you had a regulated, homeless encampment to reside in and not a “Jungle” to be preyed upon…

    .

    Truth.

    .

    Mike

  • Nick April 22, 2015 (8:53 am)

    How much of that confiscated property, drug money, etc…. Goes to homeless or drug treatment. I’ll answer it for you 0$. It all goes to local police I know this from personal experience as I worked in this field previously. This did nothing if you think addicts are having trouble finding drugs because these people are gone you are truly naive. Let’s see one actual importer arrested you don’t because they are down in Columbia paying off dea agents which is fact. Look it up. There are better ways to handle this and if you think this is working drugs are cheaper and purity is higher so this is clearly a failure.

  • Kim April 22, 2015 (10:11 am)

    Slightly off topic here, but related to police doing well…
    Yesterday as I was driving southbound on the viaduct out of downtown, I saw a police car slowly pushing a stalled(?) car along, so it could be moved along and out of the way. If this hadn’t been done, we probably would have all been complaining about our commutes yesterday. Kudos to that police officer for doing us all a kindness without recognition.

  • Fitz April 22, 2015 (4:09 pm)

    “we can’t arrest our way out of the problem…”

    Nick… Following your logic, we don’t need a police force at all. You can say “we can’t arrest our way out of (insert crime committed here)”

    These people made choices, bad choices and the only reason why more people aren’t making these bad choices is they know the police will arrest them and they will go to jail.

    It’s one thing to say that cutting off a thiefs hand is draconian… it’s another to go so far the other way and not even want to waste the energy arresting people that are selling things that get you painfully addicted to the point you aren’t able to function in society.

  • Martin April 23, 2015 (8:00 am)

    Comparing drugs to other crimes is not a fair comparison. Look at Portugal they have treated drugs as a public health issue and have far better outcomes than here. The drug war is a failure the numbers speak for themselves.

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