MOSES LAKE - Federal authorities released more information regarding a drug bust on Tuesday morning in Moses Lake that led to a dozen arrests.
Federal agencies conducted the drug bust at around 7 a.m. at a house in the 2400 block of Road E-5 Northeast in Mae Valley Tuesday morning. Federal agencies involved in the bust were agents with the DEA, ATF and Border Patrol.
The bust was part of a year-and-a-half operation that targeted a meth and heroin drug trafficking organization in central and eastern Washington with reported ties to a Washington State gang that has been identified as the Eastside Familia Norteno (ESF).
Investigators say over 300 law enforcement officers, including federal agents, conducted 19 search warrants throughout Grant, Adams and Yakima counties.
On July 10, a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Washington indicted 16 individuals with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin, according to federal authorities.
40-year-old Moses Lake resident Luis Manuel Farias-Cardenas and 34-year-old Ephrata resident Joshua Isaac Stine are accused of leading the drug trafficking conspiracy, according to the Department of Justice.
Twelve other individuals are in federal custody, pending an initial court appearance in federal court in Spokane. The twelve identified by authorities are:
47-year-old Patrick Elliott Pearson, Moses Lake
23-year-old Cristian Misael Gomez of Grant County
25-year-old Luis Manuel Ramirez, Moses Lake
23-year-old Zacharias Martinez-Garza, Moses Lake
19-year-old Mariano Ruiz-Balderas, Moses Lake
55-year-old Jesse Leon Manion Jr., Moses Lake
41-year-old Heather Elaine Keating, Moses Lake
62-year-old Leonel Caballero, of Warden
34-year-old Forrest Walker Herzog, Moses Lake
33-year-old Amy Jo Dygert, Moses Lake
59-year-old Michael Edward McLaughlin, of Ephrata
31-year-old Jesus Valencia-Morfin, of Yakima
California resident Tomas Gomez, 49, was also taken into custody and charged with a federal crime related to the drug operation.
According to the feds, federal authorities have seized quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin in the pounds. Over 50 firearms and cash were also recovered.
The investigation is a continuance of law enforcement action following efforts by authorities in December 2017, which targeted violent drug offenders operating in Grant County.
The United States Marshal Service, Homeland Security Investigations were among the agencies involved in the bust. Local law enforcement agencies from Moses Lake, Adams County, Warden, and Yakima assisted in the operation.
The ongoing criminal case is being led Assistant United States Attorney Caitlin Baunsgard for the Eastern District of Washington.