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Aryan prison gang drug bust: Nearly 2 million doses of fentanyl seized, 24 arrested


This photo shows a seizure of approximately 650,000 suspected fentanyl pills, two pill presses, 15.6 kilograms of suspected methamphetamine, approximately half-kilogram of fentanyl powder, and nine firearms from one residence. Agents seized approximately 360 grams of fentanyl powder, 66 grams of suspected fentanyl pills, 10 firearms, one firearm suppressor/silencer, approximately $56,000 in U.S. currency, and multiple phones from another location and four firearms at a third location. (FBI)
This photo shows a seizure of approximately 650,000 suspected fentanyl pills, two pill presses, 15.6 kilograms of suspected methamphetamine, approximately half-kilogram of fentanyl powder, and nine firearms from one residence. Agents seized approximately 360 grams of fentanyl powder, 66 grams of suspected fentanyl pills, 10 firearms, one firearm suppressor/silencer, approximately $56,000 in U.S. currency, and multiple phones from another location and four firearms at a third location. (FBI)
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A federal investigation into a drug-trafficking operation with ties to a white supremacist prison gang led federal agents to seize nearly two million doses of fentanyl, more than 200 pounds of methamphetamine, and more than 200 guns. They also made 24 arrests.

Federal officials said the operation moved drugs from Mexico through Washington state, Idaho, and Alaska.

“Not only are we seeing the drugs coming in from Mexico, but we’re also seeing the sheer amount of weapons that we seize, some of those are going down to Mexico to fuel the violence of the cartels down there in Mexico,” Acting Special Agent in Charge Jacob Galvin with the Drug Enforcement Administration in Seattle said.

Last week, a grand jury indicted 27 individuals involved. Of them, 24 have been arrested and three are still wanted.

Authorities said those people are:

  • Jesse James Bailey, 39, of Steilacoom, Washington, in custody
  • Thomas Carver, 59, of Auburn, Washington in custody
  • Bryson Gill, 30, of Buckeye, Arizona, in custody in Arizona
  • Yehoshua Kilp, 37, incarcerated in Washington State prison
  • Gustavo Castellanos-Tapia, 37, of Burien, Washington, in custody
  • Candice Bailey, 41, of Steilacoom, in custody
  • Ronald McComb, 58, of Ridgefield, Washington, in custody
  • Keagen Larsen, 28, currently incarcerated in King County Jail
  • Sean Moinette, 54, of Spanaway, Washington in custody
  • Gregory Beers, 30, of Edgewood, Washington, being sought by law enforcement
  • Michael Warren, 63, of Shelton, Washington, in custody
  • Michael Slocumb, 44, of Concho, Arizona, in custody in Arizona
  • Isaac Cervantes, 24, of Phoenix, in custody in Arizona
  • Sara Thompson, 37, of Bonney Lake, Washington, in custody
  • Shawn Ellis, 31, of Renton, Washington, in custody
  • Eric Smith, 52, incarcerated in Washington State prison
  • Joseph Hempel, 45, of Burien, Washington, in custody
  • Stephanie Yepez, 42, being sought by law enforcement
  • Daniel Hammond, 41, of Puyallup, Washington, in custody
  • Philip Boorkman, 40, of Seattle, in custody
  • C’La Morales, 36, of Pierce County, in custody
  • Ronnie Griffin, 64, of Tacoma, in custody
  • Anna Sarnes, 37, of Quilcene, Washington, in custody
  • Anthony Escoto, 51, of Tukwila, in custody
  • William Tripp, 34, being sought by law enforcement
  • Dana Hanson, 57, of Burbank, Washington, in custody
  • Justin Hanson, 48, of Burbank, Washington in custody

Federal officials said in a news conference Monday the organization, which has ties to the “Aryan Family,” a white supremacist prison gang, “cultivated a business relationship with the Sinaloa cartel to import and distribute a staggering amount of narcotics.”

Our combined efforts in this investigation seized enough fentanyl to kill everyone who lives in the city of Tacoma, the city of Seattle, and have enough lethal doses leftover to poison an additional 500,00 individuals within the Puget Sound region,” Galvin said.

Federal agents said the investigation is ongoing, even after two years, and they will also be working to trace the guns seized to see if they were involved in any other crimes.

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