LYNNWOOD — A Lynnwood man who allegedly has been slinging heroin for a violent drug cartel also has been running a motorcycle chop shop with his younger brother out of their mother’s condominium, according to documents filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.
Jung and Joon Kang had been the focus of a year-long investigation by the Snohomish County Auto Theft Task Force. Detectives have seen a spike in motorcycle thefts over the past year.
The brothers allegedly are well-known among car thieves as being responsible for stealing bikes in Snohomish County and other jurisdictions. Detectives were reportedly told that the brothers have storage units full of stolen motorcycles and parts, according to a search warrant.
“We have tried to get people to write statements about Jung and Joon, however, most of the people we arrest have told us they are afraid of Jung and Joon,” Marysville police detective Derek Carlile wrote in the warrant.
The task force wasn’t the only one interested in Jung Kang, 32. An investigation by federal drug enforcement agents and the Seattle Police Department reportedly linked him to a narcotics-trafficking ring connected to the Beltran-Leyva drug cartel, a branch of the notorious Sinaloa cartel, according to federal documents.
Jung Kang is accused of being a redistributor for a drug operation in Washington. Federal authorities believe the group has been dealing heroin and methamphetamine from Mexico, according to an indictment. Wiretaps reportedly led to a corrupt local car dealership that was providing vehicles to the group. The dealership also allegedly was used to launder some of the drug proceeds.
In August, law enforcement stopped a load on its way to the leader of the group. Roughly 13 pounds of heroin were seized.
Federal agents and police officers moved in last month, serving 16 search warrants at various locations. Drugs, guns and large amounts of money were found.
“In total, more than seven kilograms (15 pounds) of heroin and two kilograms of methamphetamine, 15 firearms, and approximately $80,000 in cash was seized from members of the organizations,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Vincent Lombardi wrote in court papers.
Caught up in that Sept. 26 sweep were the Kang brothers. Detectives searched the Kangs’ condo. The men live with their mother. The garage was full of motorcycles and parts. Police reportedly found stolen motorcycles and bike engines. Firearms, including a shotgun with a “drum style magazine,” also were found in the garage and house.
Both men are convicted felons and are banned from having guns.
Detectives also learned that Jung Kang had a storage unit in Everett. Detectives recovered three stolen motorcycles there.
Jung Kang is facing federal charges for his part in the drug-trafficking operation. Prosecutors in Snohomish County have charged his brother with felonies tied to the chop shop.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.