SPOKANE, Wash. - The FBI executed multiple search and arrest warrants throughout Spokane County Thursday Morning as part of a year-long federal investigation dubbed Operation "Old School."
Frank Harrill with the FBI says the multi-agency SWAT raids happened in Northern Oregon, Walla Walla, Tri-Cities and Spokane simultaneously Thursday morning. The raids all involved 'violent criminal enterprises, drugs and gangs,' according to Harrill.
In Spokane, raids conducted in the 1600 block of East Mallon, 1200 block of North Oak, 1600 block of East Lacrosse and at Highway 2 and Rambo Road resulted in the arrests of 14 people.
"We looked outside of the house and seen the lights going around there's a police officer on the side of the street and he told us to get back in the house they were serving a warrant," Randy Eldred, who lives near the 1600 block of East Lacrosse, said.
Investigators say the broke up a ring of drug and gun runners headquartered here in Spokane.
"The recovery of scores of illegal weapons, pounds of methamphetamine, a live hand grenade you see the level of sophistication, the potential for violence and the harm to our community that these groups pose on a daily basis," Agent Harrill said.
"You'll find this case is centered around a fabric of our society, that are uniting in different ways in ways we never dreamed that they would and it's guns, it's drugs, its violence, its murder that's what this sums up to be," Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said.
Investigators say the lure of huge illegal profits has the Mexican drug cartel working hand in hand with Spokane area criminals.
"These are very bad people doing very bad things to our children and ultimately they are the ones hiring our children to do their dirty work and it's our kids who are ending up in body bags," Sheriff Knezovich said.
During the raids conducted around the region, more than 100 law enforcements from numerous law enforcement agencies at the federal, state and local level worked together to arrest more than two dozen people. During the raids, authorities seized eight pounds of methamphetamine, 40 firearms, one hand grenade, 10 vehicles and approximately $150,000 in cash and valuables.
The defendants in the federal indictment from the Spokane area have been identified as:
Charles M. Bell, age 63, of Spokane Michael Bell, age 40, of Spokane Johauna M. Byers, age 28, of Spokane Tyrone J. Carell, age 24 of Spokane Ryan Doherty, age 24, of Spokane Christopher D. Drumgoole, age 26, of Spokane Joshua J. Kaczor, age 32, of Spokane David McLaughlin, age 21, of Spokane Paul L. Rios, age 30, of Spokane Robert Michael Sevey, age 55, of Spokane Michael A. Shahinian, age 45, of Spokane Teal Nicholas Terrell, age 19, of Spokane Edward L. Thomas, age 26, of Spokane Siaosilepelenise L. Tuaimalo, age 30, of Spokane Michael Wilson, age 44, of Spokane Valley Alice Woodburn, age 49, of Spokane Valley