Nearly 300,000 fentanyl pills seized in one of King County’s largest drug busts

By: - August 9, 2023 2:26 pm

K-9 Quinn, who helped King County officers seize nearly 290,000 fentanyl pills, sits in front of various drugs captured in the operation. (Courtesy of King County)

Police in King County seized $1.2 million in drugs, including 290,000 fentanyl pills, in an operation last week, county officials said Wednesday. 

The amount of fentanyl seized was equivalent to more than 2 million lethal doses and is one of the largest illegal drug seizures for the King County Sheriff’s Office, according to a press release. Alongside the fentanyl pills, officials captured 9.5 pounds of fentanyl powder, a pound of cocaine and 5.7 pounds of heroin. 

Shoreline police also took part in the operation, which led to one arrest for firearm and drug law violations.

Last year, King County seized 755,000 fentanyl pills, 30 pounds of fentanyl powder and about $17.5 million worth of drugs overall. A report from the county found 70% of confirmed overdose deaths during most of last year were due to fentanyl, up from under 10% prior to 2018. 

“King County will not stop in this fight, and we’re working around the clock, through law enforcement, public health, and human services to protect people from this deadly toxin,” said Dow Constantine, a county executive. 

The bust, named “Operation Jade” after a retired K-9 who died last month, targeted a narcotics trafficker suspected of distributing fentanyl and other drugs in Shoreline, Burien, White Center and Seattle. 

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Grace Deng
Grace Deng

Grace Deng joined the Washington State Standard shortly after graduating from Northwestern University in June 2023. Grace, who currently lives in Tacoma, is a local Washingtonian who was born and raised in Snohomish County. She has previous experience covering statehouse politics and policy for the Minnesota Reformer and the USA TODAY Ohio Network, which includes the Columbus Dispatch, the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Akron-Beacon Journal.