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Major Washington bust leads to 64 arrests and drugs, weapons and $1.2 million seized

A regional law enforcement investigation targeted an organization that was trafficking fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine. Dozens were arrested.

KENT, Wash. — Dozens of people were arrested and more than $1.2 million were seized during a series of regional law enforcement operations targeting drug traffickers over the last six weeks.

The regional law enforcement investigation targeted a drug trafficking organization that distributed fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine.

During three operations on July 28, Aug. 5 and Sept. 1, more than 64 people were arrested, according to Keith Weis, Drug Enforcement Administration special agent in charge in Seattle. Law enforcement also seized 332 pounds of meth, 87 pounds of heroin, more than 42,000 fentanyl pills and 36 firearms.

“These arrests are important because they help to cripple the drug cartels that are peddling poison in our communities,” King County Sheriff’s Office Captain Troy Smithmeyer said on behalf of King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht during a press conference Tuesday.

More than 57 search warrants were conducted during "Operation Lockdown," according to Weis.

Weis said the big success of the operation was targeting organizers and managers who were orchestrating the distribution in order to disrupt operations and impede the flow of drugs.

“These people have been put out of business,” Weis said.

Weis said the targeted groups were involved in various crimes, including kidnapping, armed assaults, home invasions, murder for hire and drug distribution.

The arrests followed a year-long wiretap investigation, and agents searched 20 different sites Tuesday, according to the Department of Justice.