DEA ANNOUNCES PROJECT SAFEGUARD - THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST INTENSIFIES EFFORTS TO COMBAT DRUG-RELATED VIOLENT CRIME
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DEA ANNOUNCES PROJECT SAFEGUARD - THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST INTENSIFIES EFFORTS TO COMBAT DRUG-RELATED VIOLENT CRIME

News Release from DEA Seattle

SEATTLE – Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Administrator Timothy J. Shea today announced that the DEA will direct resources to help reduce violent crime in communities throughout the country.  Under this initiative, called Project Safeguard, DEA will identify and prioritize ongoing drug trafficking investigations with a nexus to violent crime.

“Drug trafficking and violent crime are inextricably linked,” said Acting DEA Administrator Shea.  “From the extreme levels of violence in Mexican cartels, to the open air drug markets in American cities, drug traffickers employ violence, fear, and intimidation to ply their trade.  Neighborhoods across our country are terrorized by violent drug trafficking organizations that have little regard for human life, and profit from the pain and suffering of our people. Along with our law enforcement partners, DEA is committed to safeguarding the health and safety of our communities.”

“Violence goes hand in hand with illegal drug trafficking and continually threatens the safety of our communities.” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis.  “While conducting investigations we continually  encounter individuals associated with violent actions that have included kidnappings, armed assaults, home invasions, murder for hire, weapons trafficking and  distributing the most dangerous drug we face –fentanyl.”

Working in collaboration with our federal, state, and local partners, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service, DEA’s Project Safeguard will comprise three focus areas to address the growing violent crime threat in many cities across the United States:

  • Disrupting, dismantling, and destroying the most significant violent drug trafficking organizations throughout the United States;
  • Increasing federal prosecutions of firearms traffickers associated with drug trafficking organizations; and
  • Prioritizing the capture of DEA fugitives who employ violence as part of drug trafficking.

The traffickers that flood our communities with deadly drugs, including opioids, heroin, fentanyl, meth and cocaine, are often the same criminals responsible for the high rates of assault, murder, and gang activity in our cities.  These criminals employ fear, violence, and intimidation to traffic drugs, and in doing so, exacerbate a drug crisis that claims more than 70,000 American lives every year.   In recent months, violent crime has spiked in numerous cities and regions around the country, and drug trafficking is responsible, in part, for this violence.

Since August 1, 2020, the DEA Seattle Field Division and its state and local partners have conducted operations against these violent traffickers throughout the Pacific Northwest which have yielded:

  • 146 arrests
  • 95 weapons seized
  • $3,559,107.00 in assets seized
  • Seized drugs:

           120 pounds of heroin

           18.5 pounds of powder fentanyl

            571 pounds of methamphetamine

            37 pounds of cocaine

            41,200 pills containing fentanyl

The DEA Seattle Field Division has worked these high level investigations with the assistance of our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. 

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