Federal Grand Jury cracks down on six Yakima County firearm offenders


YAKIMA, Wash. — Six defendants from across Yakima County were indicted by a federal Grand Jury for firearms offenses in a widescale effort to deter the region’s violent crime.

According to an announcement from Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, seven firearms and three high-capacity magazines were seized during these separate arrests.

Five of the six suspects indicted were from Yakima while one other was from Mabton. Each of the defendants is between the age of 19 and 34. They were all convicted of felony crimes in the past including robbery, assault, burglary and identity theft.

These indictments were part of a collaboration between law enforcement agencies at all levels through the U.S. Attorney’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (“PSN”). This initiative prosecutes individuals who drive violent crime in the nation’s most afflicted communities.

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Waldref specifically directed PSN efforts in Yakima County to address the region’s extensive gang and gun violence issues by connecting law enforcement with community leaders.

“Our collaborative, focused prosecution efforts are part of the overall community solution to pressing violent crime issues,” Waldref said. “These arrests and Indictments demonstrate the impact we can have when federal, state, and local law enforcement work together.”

The Yakima Police Department is a vital part of this operation. Chief Matthew Murray stresses the importance of their relationship in dissuading violent crime in a region where it runs rampant.

“Indicting those who engage in violence in our community is a powerful tool and sends an even more powerful message,” Murray said. “In a perfect world, those involved in violent conduct could find the strength to walk away from that life on their own—but if they will not, the Yakima Police Department will do everything we can to hold them accountable.”


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