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Feds seize 75 guns and pounds of drugs in raids from North Idaho to Mattawa

UPDATED: Wed., Dec. 13, 2017, 8:59 p.m.

Some of the 20 people indicted as part of Operation Red File Takedown appeared Wednesday at the Tom S. Foley United States Courthouse, shown in the right foreground. The raids netted some 75 guns and about 8 pounds of methamphetamines as part of an ongoing investigation. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Some of the 20 people indicted as part of Operation Red File Takedown appeared Wednesday at the Tom S. Foley United States Courthouse, shown in the right foreground. The raids netted some 75 guns and about 8 pounds of methamphetamines as part of an ongoing investigation. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Federal agents raided some 15 locations from North Idaho to southern Grant County on Wednesday morning, arresting 20 people who have been charged as part of an investigation into a conspiracy to distribute drugs.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joseph Harrington said in a news release that the raid, called “Operation Red File Takedown,” also seized about 75 guns and about 8 pounds of methamphetamine.

The raids also occurred in Spokane, Mattawa and Moses Lake, which recently set records for drug seizures. Harrington couldn’t say whether those investigations were related to the earlier raids.

The Wednesday arrests stemmed from an indictment handed down earlier this month, which charges several suspects with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. The investigation spans from September 2016 to now, he said.

The raids, which started at 6 a.m. Wednesday, were part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, which provides federal funding to investigative agencies.

The operation was conducted principally by the Drug Enforcement Agency and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. But it also included FBI agents, U.S. Marshals, U.S. Border Patrol, Homeland Security and local and state law enforcement agencies.

Several of the suspects started showing up Wednesday in federal court for first appearances. Assistant U.S. attorneys James Goeke and David Herzog are prosecuting the case, Harrington said.


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