Multi-Million Dollar Migrant-Ran Fentanyl Ring Busted in Washington

OlliFoolish /
OlliFoolish /

According to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office, Western District of Washington, four Hondurans were busted with kilos of fentanyl. Found in both powder and pill form, they were arrested by the very Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents they were attempting to supply. Joined by the State Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) office in Tacoma, authorities busted the four as they were trafficking the supply from their Renton, Washington location to the agents in Bellingham.

In the arrest, ringleader Elvin Irias-Escoto, 22, along with co-conspirators Selvin Ponce-Maradiaga, 26, Sammy Maradiaga-Escoto, 20, and Hector Rosales-Martinez, 24, were taken in. During the raid, the agents found 15 kilos of fentanyl powder that had been put in 15 packages for distribution, in addition to at least one firearm, per the arrest statement. Meanwhile, a raid on apartments belonging to Irias-Escoto and Ponce-Maradiaga turned up a collective 60,000 fentanyl pills, a 16th kilo of fentanyl powder, as well as boxes of ammunition, said the statement.

These individuals now face charges at the US District Courts in Seattle; this was a quick action case with many moving parts. According to prosecutors, the HSI and DEA also received cooperation from the FBI, as well as Customs and Border Patrol along the way. Given the level of overdose deaths in the area recently, there was a big push to get something done about the problem.

US Attorney Tessa Gorman said in the statement that she expects to have lives saved by this bust. Given her additional claim of King County, Washington, having an average of two OD deaths per day, it makes sense that she wants to finally get fentanyl off the streets. While it may prove to be too little too late, it’s nice to see the liberal haven of Washington finally take something other than protesting seriously.