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Man nabbed in 2011 Seattle-area crime sweep sentenced to 15 years

SEATTLE – A Lakewood man was sentenced Friday to 15 years for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. He was arrested during a three month concentrated enforcement initiative last year in White Center.

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.

Roman Rosas-Martinez, 31, received the minimum mandatory sentences for his drug and firearm offences. He and his co-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.

In their sentencing request prosecutors noted the purity of the methamphetamine saying it could have had "a negative impact on a large scale after it is cut and redistributed to end users."

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