53 Arrested, 68 Guns, Meth & Heroin Seized In White Center Police Bust

BREAKING: A three-month operation involving federal, state and local law enforcement officers – “Center of Attention” – has resulted in the arrests of 53 violent repeat offenders in White Center and neighboring areas.

Jenny A. Durkan, U.S. Attorney for Western Washington, said at a press conference in White Center Friday morning (Oct. 21) that federal charges have been filed against 26 of the defendants, and another 27 face charges in King County Superior Court.

Sixty-eight guns, 52 pounds of methamphetamine, two pounds of crack cocaine, and more than 10 pounds of powder cocaine were seized during the investigation, which remained a top-secret operation until today’s announcement.

This was a cooperative effort by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Violent Gang Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Homeland Security Investigation, the Washington State Department of Corrections and State Liquor Control Board, the King County Sheriff’s Office, Metro Transit Police, the Seattle and Burien Police Departments, and the Eastside Narcotics Task Force.

“This neighborhood willl not be a safe haven for criminals,” Durkan said. “It belongs to the families and people who live in White Center.”

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg described Center of Attention as “an extraordinary effort by federal and local law enforcement to root out some of the major sources of crime and violence in the White Center community.

“For a single operation to uncover this many offenders involved in the illegal sale of guns and drugs is truly remarkable. My office is delighted to partner with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute some of the people who have had such a negative impact on this neighborhood.”

King County Sheriff’s Major James Graddon told The White Center Blog that “when the community came to us saying ‘help us,’ we couldn’t say we were working on the problem in a covert and undercover operation. We appreciate the patience we received from the community.”

VIDEO: Here’s an interview with Satterberg as conducted by Mark Neuman:

We’ll be posting a more in-depth story, along with audio and video soon, but in the meantime here are some pics from the event as shot by Scott Schaefer:

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan speaks at the press conference. To her left is King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and ATF Special Agent in Charge Kelvin Crenshaw.

"These drugs are now off the street," said ATF Special Agent Kelvin Crenshaw.

A large contingent of local media were present at the conference.

There were some serious guns and drugs on display at the conference.

Map of the crime wave spread from West Seattle in the north, through White Center and into Burien.


7 Responses to “53 Arrested, 68 Guns, Meth & Heroin Seized In White Center Police Bust”
  1. White Center Girl says:

    Great work officers! We are so lucky to have such talented, dedicated and brave public safety officer who work tirelessly to keep our communites as safe as can be.

    Everyone, thank a police officer today!

  2. heidi says:

    I hope there is more to come….Because we all know there are more like these people out in W.C…..We need to get them all and let them know W.C is the peoples streets….Not for drugs, gang bangers and people who want to do harm in W.C…Im glad to see this bust……

  3. Debi Stokes says:

    Thank you To our Police Officers and the ATF.

  4. rewinn says:

    This sounds like a good start! I’d wondered why it was taking so long to close down the drug house two blocks from us, but if they were collecting data for this megabust, I’m all in favor. I’m looking forward to learning more. This can be a great place to live, if we just take out the trash!

  5. I am so grateful for the hard work and dedication to our community that we have seen from our Deputies, now and over the previous years.
    I have been a business owner and resident for 8 years and have worked closely with previous and current Deputies on issues, and have experienced a high quality of concern and support.
    I am convinced we are all working towards a family friendly downtown White Center district and visualize a vibrant business district with more emphasis on community events and gatherings.
    Having read Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Tipping Point’ and fully appreciating the efforts it takes to create that, through dedication to the positive image we hold in our mind, and continually removing the offensive graffiti, garbage, negatives of any sort, we can continue to say NO and take the community to a higher level….but it takes the ENTIRE VILLAGE to look around and say-hey…NO MORE.
    That means everyone makes an effort to pick up garbage, report a crime, get to know our officers, neighbors and so on.

    Or, keep wishing someone else will do it.

    I would like to add that many of the arrested were not even from White Center, but from Seatac, West Seattle, and Burien, even.
    A proud resident of White Center

  6. Misti says:

    I can’t express my appreciation for all of the hard work of our law enforcement officers. I have lived next to a drug house for the last year+. I had just about given up until our community banned together and officers discovered it was a very large drug house.
    I am starting to feel safer living in my house and know that my community and our law enforcement team are watching. I am thankful that someone finally listened to the White Center Community.

  7. WhiteCenter Library Neighbor says:

    Thank you for all the officers and agencies that helped our community. I wonder if we can also hold those landlords accountable who create a safe haven for criminals. I know there is a house that has no electricity, but the landlord allows people to live in the house and they all have felons or run in with the laws. Can something be done for these absentee landlords who themselves may have issues?

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