Reports that started flying early this morning about search warrants being served throughout the region were confirmed this afternoon when the FBI and Seattle Police Department announced the arrest of 24 people as part of a two-year investigation into a massive oxycodone dealing operation that allegedly stretched from northern California to Seattle. The investigation was conducted by the Seattle Safe Streets Task Force.
The U.S. attorney's office says the ring was led by 43-year-old Herman J. Roche (roh-SHAY') of Kent. He's one of 18 people indicted on a charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substance. Six others were arrested for alleged roles in the ring. The accused include two people from Oakland and Stockton, Calif.
Officials said the ring made frequent trips to California to bring back 2,000-to-5,000 pills at a time.
"Prescription drug abuse is a growing threat in our community, with terrible consequences," Durkan said in a statement distributed to the media. "This drug ring was feeding addiction with thousands of pills trafficked from California. They lined their pockets by destroying the lives and families of so many in our community."
KOMO has published a list of the 24 people arrested
KOMO has published a list of the 24 people arrested, provided by the FBI, which is below.
Those indicted for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances as announced by the FBI:
HERMAN J. ROCHE, 43, of Kent, Washington
ROBERT M. KEARNEY JR., 40, of Stockton, California
SHAUNTE M. ANTHONY, 34, of Oakland, California
RUCHELL GILBERT, 38, of Renton, Washington
BRANDY N. BUTLER, 34, of Seattle
NICKOLE E. MARTIN, 25, of Kent, Washington
JASON R. LEE, 26, of Seattle
RAHMAN JOHNSON, 35, of Kent, Washington
SAXTON F. MASON, 35, of Seattle
ERNEST J. ELLISON, 47, of Seattle
DEMONTA M. HENRY, 24, of Kent, Washington
VINCENT L. FIELDS, 44, of Tacoma
COREY A. BROWN, 39, of Seattle
CLARENCE D. WILLIAMS, 32, of Seattle
JOSEPH D. ROCHE, 46, of Seattle
THOMAS D. LEE, 45, of Seattle
DAVID L. POTTS, 48, of Spanaway, Washington
CURIUM L. HURLEY, 29, of Tukwila, Washington
The defendants charged by complaint include:
DANIEL M.YOHANNES, 26, of Seattle
BRIAN M. DAVIS, 33, of Seattle
FREDERICK L. NEWMAN Jr., 39, of Tukwila, Washington
ANTHONY F. COLBERT, 42, Renton, Washington
Additional defendants arrested include:
NEGASH MULU WOLDESELASE, 25, of Seattle
ALVIN ROCHELL MITCHELL, 24, of Seattle