A pair of ATF special agents were injured in a shooting, while 15 people were arrested during a large-scale, multi-jurisdictional drug bust Tuesday morning in Moses Lake.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) led the large-scale enforcement action targeting a methamphetamine and heroin drug trafficking organization. The Grant County Sheriff's Office says this is a continuation of a December 2017 operation against drug traffickers.
The DEA says this trafficking organization had ties to Washington-based street gang identified as Eastside Familia Norteno (ESF). Overall, more than 300 law enforcement officials executed 19 federal search warrants in Grant, Yakima and Adams counties.
Last week, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging 16 individuals for conspiracy to distribute meth and heroin. The lead defendants in the case are 40-year-old Luis Manuel Farias-Carendas of Moses Lake and 34-year-old Joshua Isaac of Ephrata, who are accused of being the leaders of the drug trafficking conspiracy.
Both Farias-Carendas and Isaac were taken into custody along with 12 others named in the indictment pending appearances in Spokane federal court. The others arrested include: Patrick Elliot Pearson, 47, of Moses Lake; Cristian Misael Gomez, 23, of Grant County; Luis Manuel Ramirez, 25, of Moses Lake; Zacarias Martinez-Garza, 23 of Moses Lake; Mariano Ruiz-Balderas, 19, of Moses Lake; Jesse Leon Manion Jr., 55, of Moses Lake; Heather Elaine Keating, 41, of Moses Lake; Leonel Caballero, 62, of Warden; Forrest Walker Herzog, 34, of Moses Lake; Amy Jo Dygert, 33, of Moses Lake; Michael; Edward McLaughlin, 59, of Ephrata; and Jesus Valenica-Morfin , 31, of Yakima. An additional person, 49-year-old Tomas Gomez of Los Angeles, Calif., was arrested during the operation.
Eleven arrests were made in Moses Lake, one in Ephrata, two in Yakima and one in Warden. Agents and officers have seized pound quantities of meth, cocaine, heroin and over 50 firearms and U.S. currency.
During the operation, two ATF Special Agents were injured at a home on the 2400 block of Road E.5 NE in the Mae Valley community of Moses Lake. One agent was hit in the chest by a round or fragment, while the other was hit by a fragment in the torso. Their injuries are considered non life threatening and they received medical attention on scene prior to being transported for further evaluations and treatment. They are expected to be released shortly.
A suspect from the shooting was injured and is believed to have shot himself as Special Agents executed the search warrant. He was transported to a Spokane hospital, where his condition is currently unknown. His identity is currently being withheld as it is a subject of the federal investigation.
The shooting is being investigated by the Grant County Sheriff's Office.