Northwest NEWS

July 22, 2002

Local News

Woodinville man arrested in cocaine exportation ring

by Woodinville Weekly staff
   The U.S. Dept. of Justice, U.S. Customs Service and the King County Sheriff's office announced that seven Seattle-area residents, alleged members of a massive cocaine exportation ring that spreads from California to Florida, were arrested July 11 at their homes, including one in Woodinville.
   According to Detective Kathleen Larson of the King County Sheriff's Department, the suspects' neighbors weren't aware of any drug trafficking activities in their Seattle-area housing developments. "They had absolutely no idea," Detective Larson said.
   Following a two year Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation led by United States Customs service and the King County Sheriff's Department, the following were indicted: Ehong Esteban Siu, age 37, of Tenino; Christine J. Vanderwerf, age 29, of Federal Way; Kimberly B. Montgomery, age 27, of Seattle; Amber M. Andress, age 28, of Seattle; Kristin Crespin, age 33, of Seattle; David Sanchez, age 47, of Lynnwood; and Donald Gordon Klander, age 46, of Woodinville.
   The defendants and others remain in federal custody charged with conspiracy to export cocaine; interstate and foreign travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise; exportation of cocaine; and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
   The most serious of the charges carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, along with a $4 million fine.
   Contents seized at the time of arrest include 150 kilograms of cocaine; $1.46 million in U.S. currency; 12 lbs. of marijuana; 15 vehicles; four real properties; and approximately 12 weapons.
   "There are still fugitives outstanding that have not been taken into custody," said Detective Larson. "The Marshall's office is still working on that."
   The U.S. Department of Justice reminds the public that an indictment contains only allegations, and that all defendants must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
   The arrests were the result of a concerted effort between the King County Sheriff's Department, United States Customs-Seattle and Canada Customs.
   "It's an outstanding example of team effort by law enforcement," said Detective Larson. "It shows what happens when we work together."