Tacoma police arrested five people and seized more than 10 kilograms of suspected black-tar heroin Wednesday night as part of a drug investigation.
Investigators believe the five were part of a larger organization that has been dealing heroin in the Tacoma area on behalf of a Mexican drug cartel, police spokesman Mark Fulghum said.
The investigation into the organization started with an undercover drug buy and quickly evolved, Fulghum said.
After the initial buy, the investigation led undercover drug officers to a home near 140th Street East and Canyon Road. They got a warrant to search the home and knocked on the door Wednesday night, Fulghum said.
“They were confronted by a man armed with a shotgun,” he said. “His role was to guard the home and its contents.”
The man put down the shotgun and was taken into custody after a short standoff, Fulghum said.
Inside the home, investigators found more than 10 kilos of suspected heroin, two shotguns, a handgun and cash. The drugs were valued at $800,000, Fulghum said.
Investigators stopped a van seen leaving the home and said one of the department’s drug-sniffing dogs found some drugs inside the van. The dog also found a bundle that had been dropped along the roadway, Fulghum said.
The five people were arrested at the home and in the area. They could face federal charges stemming from the investigation, he said.