A three-month investigation into gang violence, and drug and firearms sales in South King County resulted in the arrest of 33 people and the seizure of 28 firearms, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
A three-month investigation into gang violence, and drug and firearms sales in South King County resulted in the arrest of 33 people and the seizure of 28 firearms, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.
The so-called “Hot Spot” initiative also led to the seizure of 14 pounds of methamphetamine from the targeted communities of Seattle, Kent, Renton and Tukwila, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said Tuesday.
“Drug trafficking, and the violent crime it spawns, is not limited to our urban areas,” Durkan said. “We must make our neighborhoods places for people to thrive. ‘Hot spot’ initiatives such as this seek to identify and root out the bad actors who are making our communities unsafe.”
Kent police Chief Ken Thomas said that during the investigation officers went undercover and worked with informants to get guns and drugs off the streets.
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Thomas says the arrests will have a significant impact on the area because law enforcement “went after primarily upper-level gang members.”
“We need prevention and intervention to deal with the gang problem, but we need these upper-level bad guys off the streets for these programs to really work,” Thomas said.
The initiative was led by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement and included local law-enforcement agencies, including Kent and Seattle police.
Last year, federal and local law enforcement conducted a similar initiative in White Center after the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council and the White Center/Delridge Safety Coalition complained about crime in the area.
In that operation there were more than 50 arrests, including 23 people charged federally with firearms, drug-dealing and drug-possession offenses; the seizure of 51 pounds of methamphetamine and 12 pounds of crack and powder cocaine; and the seizure of 68 firearms.
Seattle Times staff reporter Jennifer Sullivan contributed to this report.