Task force members get ready to raid a house at an unspecified location in July during a crackdown on gang members. COURTESY PHOTO, U.S. Marshals Service

Task force members get ready to raid a house at an unspecified location in July during a crackdown on gang members. COURTESY PHOTO, U.S. Marshals Service

‘Operation Triple Beam Jet City’ results in arrest of 149 gang members in three counties

Auburn Police among participating agencies in U.S. Marshals-led task force

A large-scale, three-month-long gang enforcement operation labeled “Operation Triple Beam Jet City” recently wrapped up with the arrest of 263 fugitives, 149 of whom were gang members or associates.

Led by the U.S. Marshals Western District of Washington Fugitive Task Force, multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies concentrated their efforts and focus on known street gangs in the King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

Police officers from Kent, Auburn, Federal Way, Tukwila and Des Moines participated in the operation that concluded on Sept. 30.

“Operation Triple Beams’ success illustrates the extensive partnerships within the law enforcement community and their ability to combine their specialized skills,” said Jacob Green, acting U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Washington, in a Oct. 11 press release. “As a force multiplier Operation Triple Beam’s unique design is to bring immediate relief to communities ravaged by violence through this short-term anti-gang violent crime reduction methodology. The arrest of 263 offenders within a span of 90 days should send a message that we will not stop. We will continue to address the violence in our community.”

Since 2010, the U.S. Marshals Service has led more than 50 counter-gang operations which have yielded more than 8,000 arrests and the seizure of more than 1,800 illegal firearms.

The Jet City operation seized 30 firearms; 276 grams (or 0.608 pounds) of heroin, with an approximate street value of $9,800; 108.38 grams of cocaine, with an approximate street value of $7,000; 4,149.34 grams (or 9.14 pounds) of methamphetamine, with an approximate street value of $60,000; 520 Xanax pills with an estimated street value of $2,500; 263 doses of anabolic steroids, with an approximate street value of $1,000; five motor vehicles; and recovered two stolen vehicles.

A few of the notable arrests included:

• Jonathan Rojas, Sureno from the South Side Chicanos, wanted for armed robbery, arrested by the Western District of Washington Fugitive Task Force, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Seattle Police Department SWAT team July 16 in Seattle. Rojas was wanted for an armed robbery that occurred in the winter of 2017 in which he allegedly carjacked and shot the victim in the foot with a sawed-off shotgun. During his arrest he led deputies on a high-speed chase that ended with a SWAT call-out from his residence. A consent search at the residence resulted in the seizure of two vehicles, to include the one used in the robbery.

• Leo Dickerson, 44 Holly Hoover Crip, wanted on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and a suspect in a homicide, arrested by the district fugitive task force and Seattle Police Department Gang Unit July 17 in Tacoma. During his arrest Dickerson discarded a backpack that yielded the seizure of a Glock 26 loaded with a drum magazine containing 50 rounds of ammunition. Additionally, two standard capacity magazines were recovered – one containing 14 rounds of ammunition and the other 10 rounds.

• Kurtus Phillips, East Side Piru, wanted on a probation violation, along with probable cause for a drive-by shooting and unlawful possession of a firearm, and felony eluding, arrested by the district fugitive task force July 17 in Fife. Phillips is alleged to have fired several rounds into an occupied vehicle July 13.

The U.S. Marshals-led Western District of Washington Fugitive Task Force was created this year and is composed of deputy U.S. marshals along with 22 federal, state and local law enforcement partnering agencies. The task force specializes in locating and arresting violent fugitives for offenses that include, but are not limited to homicide, assault, sex crimes, failure to register as a sex offender, firearms violations and federal probation violations.

Task force members reveal a gang member’s tattoo during a July bust at an unspecified location. COURTESY PHOTO, U.S. Marshals Service

Task force members reveal a gang member’s tattoo during a July bust at an unspecified location. COURTESY PHOTO, U.S. Marshals Service

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