53 Arrested, 68 Guns, Meth & Heroin Seized In 3-Month Police Operation

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BREAKING: A three-month operation involving federal, state and local law enforcement officers – “Center of Attention” – has resulted in the arrests of 53 violent repeat offenders in White Center and neighboring areas.

Jenny A. Durkan, U.S. Attorney for Western Washington, said at a press conference in White Center Friday morning (Oct. 21) that federal charges have been filed against 26 of the defendants, and another 27 face charges in King County Superior Court.

Sixty-eight guns, 52 pounds of methamphetamine, two pounds of crack cocaine, and more than 10 pounds of powder cocaine were seized during the investigation, which remained a top-secret operation until today’s announcement.

This was a cooperative effort by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Violent Gang Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Homeland Security Investigation, the Washington State Department of Corrections and State Liquor Control Board, the King County Sheriff’s Office, Metro Transit Police, the Seattle and Burien Police Departments, and the Eastside Narcotics Task Force.

“This neighborhood willl not be a safe haven for criminals,” Durkan said. “It belongs to the families and people who live in White Center.”

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg described Center of Attention as “an extraordinary effort by federal and local law enforcement to root out some of the major sources of crime and violence in the White Center community.

“For a single operation to uncover this many offenders involved in the illegal sale of guns and drugs is truly remarkable. My office is delighted to partner with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute some of the people who have had such a negative impact on this neighborhood.”

King County Sheriff’s Major James Graddon told The B-Town Blog that “when the community came to us saying ‘help us,’ we couldn’t say we were working on the problem in a covert and undercover operation. We appreciate the patience we received from the community.”

VIDEO: Here’s an interview with Satterberg as conducted by Mark Neuman:

We’ll be posting a more in-depth story, along with audio and video soon, but in the meantime here are some pics from the event as shot by Scott Schaefer:

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan speaks at the press conference. To her left is King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and ATF Special Agent in Charge Kelvin Crenshaw.

"These drugs are now off the street," said ATF Special Agent Kelvin Crenshaw.

A large contingent of local media were present at the conference.

There were some serious guns and drugs on display at the conference.

Map of the crime wave spread from West Seattle in the north, through White Center and into Burien.

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13 Responses to “53 Arrested, 68 Guns, Meth & Heroin Seized In 3-Month Police Operation”
  1. Heidi says:

    What has failed to be mentioned is that the culprits in this case are NOT from WC, these drugs and guns were obtained from SeaTac, High Point, and Burien.
    You can confirm this with SPD and KCSO. The culprits used our community to conduct their criminal activities.

    • Eaton B. Verz says:

      I guess the ambiance just sorta drew them to WC…..

    • william forest says:

      Wherever they got them they brought them to White Center which is a haven for criminals and gangs. Its not a safe area.. I am glad they caught these ones but other criminals will just repopulate the area which is a magnet for crime.

      • Heidi says:

        I recall reading that select businesses were allowing a safe haven for these criminals to conduct their crimes. Take away those businesses and the thugs will have to flee to find a new haven… just glad that the ATF took out the trash.

  2. Dale C. says:

    Great news to get these nasty hard drugs out of the neighborhood! Cartel be gone! I love the new medical marihuana dispensary in town there, the small one nearby. That is good people and now they can operate their business without patients being accosted by those scum from the bar. I am now convinced the medical marihuna people are completely different from the other scum and glad to have them in the neighborhood.

  3. Greg Duff says:

    This is great news for the area. Anytime we can take drugs and guns off the street, we will all be safer. Hats off to all the dapartments involved in the bust but especially to our own Burien/King County Sheriffs Department. I have said it before and I will continue to say that we have the finest police protection in the state.

  4. Tom Harmon says:

    I wonder if the Burien city council will take this into account as they rush headlong to make WC part of the city.

    The claims that crime is no worse in White Center than elsewhere baffles me.

  5. Nick says:

    These criminals been doing business for years in WC. Everybody knew it. Not like it was some secret. How many besides Duff think we got the finest police in the state? Those fine police are why these felons picked White Center to deal? I guess Duff wants to get the cops’ vote, but the joke’s on him because burien cops don’t live in burien.

    • william forest says:

      Duff has his head where the sun doesn’t shine.. He has an annexation agenda and will push it regardless of the facts and common sense.

      • william forest says:

        Has anyone ever wondered why a lot of the business’s in white center take CASH only?

        Food for thought.

        • Lee Moyer says:

          Probably for the same reason I try to use cash instead of a credit card. We don’t want to give the large banks three to five per cent of every transaction. I’d rather see the “tax” go to the business.
          That is a big hit on a small business, who usually has to pay a higher rate to the bank than the large businesses.

  6. P. Griffin says:

    Thank you William for being so insightful. I was not sure how I was going to vote until I read your comments and I am sure I am now going to vote for Mr. Duff. All he did was compliment our police force and you turned it into a speach about annexation. Don’t you and the others that constantly say the same thing over and over realize that you are getting voters to vote against you and not against the candidates.
    Mr. Duff does not need to try and get the police vote. Look at his web site and you will see that he already has the endorsement of the King County Sheriffs Officers as well as both Highline and Burien Fire Departments. By the way, he also has the endorsement of 5 of the 7 Burien City Council members. The other blog has the story that Ed Dacy sent in and Mr. Duff has his endorsement too.

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