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Washington State News

FBI TASK FORCE INVESTIGATION RESULTS IN ONE OF THE LARGEST-EVER DRUG SEIZURES IN YAKIMA COUNTY, WASHINGTON

U.S. Attorney’s Office – Eastern Dist. of Wash.

Yakima, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, conducted a comprehensive federal investigation concerning drug trafficking within the City of Yakima.  The investigation culminated with the execution of multiple federal search warrants in Yakima County. 

According to law enforcement sources, on December 28, 2022  the FBI Task Force seized more than approximately 120,000 fentanyl-laced pills and more than 42 pounds of methamphetamine. The FBI and its local partners also seized a loaded Beretta pistol and approximately $152,000 in U.S. Currency, including approximately $100,000 that was buried outside the residence.  In connection with the seizure, Eliseo Equihua-Zamora was indicted on January 10, 2022, with Possession with Intent to Distribute Over 50 Grams of Actual (pure) Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute over 400 grams of Fentanyl, and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime.  Equihua-Zamora is presumed innocent until proven guilty and is facing charges in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.

U.S. Attorney Waldref commended the joint efforts of law enforcement for removing such a large quantity of illegal narcotics from the community.  U.S. Attorney Waldref stated, “Illegal narcotics, and fentanyl in particular, have become a scourge across the United States. I’m grateful to the FBI and our critical task force partners for working together to combat this dangerous poison. Without their combined efforts, more than 100,000 deadly fentanyl-laced pills and more than 40 pounds of methamphetamine would not have been removed from the community. As a result, our neighborhoods and communities are safer and stronger.”

“Every time the FBI and our partners seize these dangerous and highly potent drugs, we are also removing from the community hundreds of thousands of opportunities for someone, perhaps even an unknowing young person, to make one bad choice and become addicted or overdose,” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Seattle Field Office. “As the drug landscape changes in our country, and fentanyl is hiding in unknown quantities amongst other drugs or being represented as another drug entirely, it is critical that law enforcement disrupt the flow of this poison into Washington state.”
 

“The recent successful results of an investigation by the FBI Task Force highlights the importance of federal and local agencies working together for public safety,” stated Yakima County Sheriff Robert Udell. He continued, “The investigation seized a significant quantity of fentanyl and methamphetamine in the Yakima area, and these possibly fatal illegal drugs were removed from our community. I am pleased with the results of the FBI Task Force, and our deputies look forward to working together with the Task Force to achieve further success in removing illegal drugs from our community.”

This ongoing case is being investigated by the FBI Task Force, which members include the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington State Department of Corrections, Homeland Security Investigations, and United States Border Patrol. The FBI Task Force was assisted by the Moxee Police Department and the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tom Hanlon. 

An indictment and a complaint are merely allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

1:23-CR-2004-SAB