DEA and wildlife agents raid rental house in Federal Way

A fence was knocked down during a raid Aug. 23 on a rented house at 32919 3rd Avenue SW. The fence faces SW 330th Street. - Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror
A fence was knocked down during a raid Aug. 23 on a rented house at 32919 3rd Avenue SW. The fence faces SW 330th Street.
— image credit: Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror

A large-scale bust in a quiet Federal Way neighborhood has kept neighbors guessing the past two weeks.

On the morning of Aug. 23, law enforcement and federal wildlife agents raided a home at 32919 3rd Avenue SW, on the corner of SW 330th Street.

Occupants of the house were suspected of possessing illegal fish that sell for $1,500 on the black market, according to Federal Way police. The type of illegal fish has not been confirmed.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife led the investigation, police said, although a wildlife department spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the investigation at this time.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) task force was also involved in the raid because of an alleged marijuana garden at the house, according to police. Federal Way officers executed the search warrant and monitored safety at the scene.

Detectives alerted residents in the neighborhood several weeks before the raid, said Sue Ellebrecht, who lives on 4th Avenue SW. Residents were told detectives obtained a search warrant for the rented house, and to expect a lot of noise.

Ellebrecht, who is treasurer of the homeowners association for West Campus Division 2 neighborhood, said the house's owner paid HOA dues on time with a check. The property owner could not be reached for comment.

Witnesses described officers in camouflage on back decks, armed with machine guns. Neighbors reported that officers used a flash bomb and loudspeakers at the scene. Neighbors reported seeing suspects arrested at the scene, although the number of suspects and their charges are not available as of press time.

More information will be reported as it becomes available.

Injurious species

U.S. Fish and Wildlife inspectors guard against the illegal wildlife trade. The inspectors make sure wildlife shipments comply with U.S. and international laws, regulations and treaties.

Duties include protecting endangered species and guarding against injurious species that are harmful to humans, agriculture, wildlife and the environment.

Injurious species include anything from non-native snakes like pythons and anacondas to aquatic creatures such as zebra mussels, mitten crabs and Asian carp. Other fish on the list include snakehead, walking catfish, silver carp, large scale silver carp, black carp, bighead carp and salmonids.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife reports that the annual wildlife trade is worth more than $2 billion.

Check out a feature from titled "7 fish hot on the black market."

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