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Firearms, Ammunition & Explosives

Washington state man nabbed in federal crackdown found guilty

SEATTLE — A Lakewood man arrested during a three-month federal crackdown on illegal firearms and violent repeat offenders in King County was found guilty Thursday by a federal jury.

Roman Rosas-Martinez, 31, now faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison for his conviction on conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

The crackdown, called "Operation Center of Attention," targeted suspects in the White Center neighborhood of King County. The enforcement effort was coordinated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the King County Sheriff's Office, the Seattle Police Department, the King County Metro Transit Police, the Washington State Department of Corrections, the Washington State Liquor Control Board and the Eastside Narcotics Task Force.

Rosas-Martinez and his conspirators were arrested at a storage facility in White Center during an October 2011 drug deal. They were caught removing about 22 pounds of methamphetamine from a hidden compartment in their car. Three handguns were also recovered. One of the guns belonged to Rosas-Martinez.

According to court documents, in September 2011, Rosas-Martinez sold a shotgun to a person working with police. It was at that meeting that Rosas-Martinez indicated he had relatives who could sell the person methamphetamine. They arranged to meet later at the storage facility where he was arrested.

"Illicit drug distributors are concerned with one thing: making money," said Brad Bench, acting special agent in charge for HSI Seattle. "They don't care about the lives they destroy or the children they get hooked on drugs. HSI is dedicated to dismantling the illicit drug trade and bringing those responsible to justice."

"Operation Center of Attention" resulted in 50 arrests and the seizure of 70 guns and more than 60 pounds of illicit drugs.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington prosecuted the case.