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Police threatened after fatal shooting, drug raid

By ERICA HALL

Staff writer

Police arrested five people suspected of drug trafficking in a Federal Way-area raid of two homes last week, but the homes didn’t appear to be where drugs were produced.

The four men and a woman who were arrested were being held last week at the Regional Justice Center in Kent. Charges were still pending.

The arrests came two weeks after police shot and killed a man linked to the alleged drug ring.

King County Sheriff Department spokesman Kevin Fagerstrom said a long investigation into reputed drug-trafficking brothers, cousins and associates led to the raid of the two homes located in the 4800 block of South 288th Street, near Thomas Jefferson High School, at about 5 a.m Sept. 30.

Fagerstrom said the investigation into the group continues, but associates now are threatening police they will retaliate for Fesili’s death.

Officers from the Des Moines Police Department, the Sheriff Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms took 23 people into custody and arrested five, Fagerstrom said.

Police recovered a large quantity of methamphetamine and several high-powered rifles and shotguns, but no shots were fired during the raid and no one was injured, he said. No illegal weapons were found in the homes.

The men and woman were arrested on suspicion of narcotics and weapons violations.

The people were associates of several brothers and cousins, all of whom police are investigating for production of methamphetamine, identity theft and weapons violations. Fagerstrom said the group operates mostly in south King County.

Police don’t consider the group a gang, per se. “They’re just some dopers,” Fagerstrom said, adding they operate more as “a group of meth users who’ve come together.”

County police had been investigating the group for some time when on Sept. 12, they received a tip that David Taiese Fesili, 34, a man wanted by police on felony warrants, had a stolen car in his possession.

Fagerstrom said deputies were sitting in unmarked vehicles down the street from Fesili’s Des Moines home, where the stolen car was parked in the driveway, discussing what to do when Fesili emerged from the house.

He looked down the street and saw the two cars and, assuming they were police, he pulled out a handgun and opened fire on the cars, according to Fagerstrom.

As Fesili drove away from Des Moines up Pacific Highway South, he continued shooting out the back of his car. Four shots hit police vehicles, Fagerstrom said.

Deputies stopped the chase by ramming Fesili’s car, which Fagerstrom said sent the suspect’s car off the road and spun it around. The car rammed a light pole.

As officers got closer, Fesili, who had been trying to pry open the vehicle’s smashed door, opened fire on them again, according to Fagerstrom.

A deputy arriving to provide backup saw the shooting and rammed Fesili’s car, which stopped his shooting long enough for the other deputies to pull their own weapons and shoot him, Fagerstrom said. Fesili was pronounced dead at the scene.

The deputies involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave, but have since returned to work.

Despite the size of last week’s raid, Fagerstrom said police don’t believe they’ve taken all the members of the group off the street.

Advisory bulletins have been distributed to all King County-area police agencies, and Fagerstrom said deputies are warning all law enforcement officers to exercise extreme caution when dealing with them.

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