The following press release was distributed earlier this afternoon by the US Attorney’s Office.
SEATTLE POLICE AND HOMELAND SECURITY SEIZE 315 POUNDS OF METHAMPHETAMINE FOLLOWING STING OPERATION
Drug Trafficking Organization thought it was Buying Cocaine, Instead Law Enforcement Arrested Transporter with Meth Stored at ‘HomeAway’ Rental
A multi-state sting operation led by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) resulted in the arrest of ADRIAN PEREZ, 41 of San Diego, California and the seizure of more than 315 pounds of methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. PEREZ was arrested and charged by criminal complaint in Seattle last week after he tried to take possession of 18 kilos of cocaine he intended to transport for a Canadian drug trafficking organization. Quick work by law enforcement, and especially the Seattle Police Department, resulted in the seizure of more than 150 pounds of methamphetamine from the Seattle home rented by PEREZ.
“Drug trafficking organizations use the I-5 corridor to ship large quantities of their poisons into our communities — from San Diego to Bellingham and beyond,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “We work closely with our international, federal, state and local counterparts to identify those involved and disrupt their efforts.”
According to records filed in the case, in April 2017, RCMP and HSI began investigating a group smuggling drugs from San Diego into Canada. Last month agents went undercover and posed as drug couriers who had cocaine they were willing to sell to the criminal organization. On March 13, 2018, a member of the drug trafficking organization agreed to meet at a central Seattle parking lot to pick up 18 kilos of cocaine. PEREZ arrived at the meeting place, took delivery of the cocaine and was arrested by HSI. The next day Seattle Police Department officers served a search warrant at a ‘HomeAway’ rental property in the Leschi neighborhood which PEREZ had occupied for the previous four days. Inside officers found three large duffle bags containing 150 pounds of methamphetamine and $4,000 in cash. HSI obtained a court authorized warrant to search the vehicle PEREZ was driving. Inside they found an additional 165 pounds of methamphetamine.
“HSI continues to work closely with the Seattle Police Department and other partners to investigate crimes like drug trafficking,” said Brad Bench, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Seattle. “Three hundred pounds of meth and 18 kilos of cocaine can have devastating effects on a community, and the quick action of HSI and the Seattle Police Department thwarted that from happening.”
“Methamphetamine is second only to opioids when it comes to fatal drug overdoses,” said Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best. “Getting these dangerous drugs off the street is a testament to what is possible when we work together with our federal partners.”
Due to the drug quantities involved PEREZ faces a mandatory minimum ten years in prison if convicted.
The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by HSI with critical assistance from the Seattle Police Department.
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.