U.S. federal, state and local law enforcement officials on Thursday said they have arrested 31 people after busting a drug trafficking ring that was bringing methamphetamine and cocaine from Mexico into the U.S. state of Washington.
At a press conference held in Seattle, officials announced that the arrests were result of a 14-month investigation code-named "Operation Arctic Chill" which also led to the seizures of drugs and weapons, The Seattle Times and other local media reported.
Twenty of those arrested have been charged for attempt and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, officials said.
Over the past two weeks, law enforcement officials executed more than 35 search warrants at various locations in Washington state. Another warrant was executed in Oakdale in the U.S. state of California, where an idle methamphetamine lab and about one pound of methamphetamine were found.
During the course of investigation, officials seized more than 19 pounds of methamphetamine, a quarter pound of cocaine, about 60,000 U.S. dollars in cash, 22 vehicles and 23 firearms.
According to court documents, investigators identified Martin Oseguera-Chavez of Roy in the state of Washington as the leader of the sophisticated drug trafficking organization.
He was believed to be responsible for buying methamphetamine and cocaine from dealers in Mexico and California and then distributed the drugs to the organization's members in Washington.