Several search warrants executed Wednesday in Grays Harbor were related to a federal investigation involving Aberdeen stores being used to traffic heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as wiring hundreds of thousands of dollars in suspected drug proceeds to Mexico and other Latin-American countries.
Drug Enforcement Agency spokeswoman Jodie Underwood said this afternoon that federal charges were filed today in Tacoma against 8 Grays Harbor County residents. Those charges involved more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, and more than 100 grams of Heroin.
DEA Agent Errin Jewell said in her testimony that the DEA Tacoma, HSI Seattle, and the Grays Harbor Drug Task Force began investigating Reynalda Felix-Quiroz and her associates in early 2014. Investigators learned that she was operating a Hispanic food store Anna’s Tienda in Aberdeen, and using its business to wire transfer suspected drug proceeds in excess of $670,000 to Mexico.
Jewell says presumably through the success of their ventures, Reynalda Felix-Quiroz and a boyfriend, Alfredo Torres-Lombera purchased another Aberdeen store named Casa DE Tele-Ramirez Tienda that was also used as a front for their operations.
A confindential source was able to infiltrate the drug ring, and learned that they had ties back to Mexico, and sent runners to Los Angela California to purchase drug shipments for Grays Harbor regularly.
After an apparent breakup, Quiroz’ group splintered, law enforcement was still able to make controlled buys as they worked toward a possible source in Tacoma. Last August, following the arrest of Alfredo Torres-Lombera’s supplier, Heriberto Pacheco-Juarez, investigators learned of and intercepted eleven pounds of methamphetamine headed from California to Grays Harbor.
The arrests on Wednesday were the culmination of that investigation, and included seven federal search warrants, and two state warrants.