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Investigation of former Sheriff’s Deputy, Bothell resident leads to arrest

King County Sheriff
King County Sheriff's Office
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Former King County Sheriff’s Deputy and Bothell resident Mitch Wright was arrested for conspiracy and narcotics distribution on Feb. 10. The arrest is the result of a three month investigation by the DEA, Shoreline Police, Seattle Police and the King County Sheriff’s Office. Wright was arrested around 5 p.m. in the area of 14300 of Aurora Ave North.

Wright was indicted by a grand jury on Feb. 5 on drug charges. He was booked into the Federal Detention Center and his first appearance was today at 2 p.m. in Federal Court in Seattle.

Wright was a deputy with the King County Sheriff’s Office for 10 years, a majority of time he was assigned to the city of Shoreline. In 2010, he was assigned as a detective to the tactical diversion squad, a joint narcotics task force comprised of numerous local and federal agencies.

In May of 2013, a Bothell police officer contacted and ultimately arrested a woman for illicit drug use from a vehicle that was registered to Wright. Although Wright was not present during this contact it raised safety concerns and Bothell Police contacted Shoreline Police Chief Shawn Ledford. Ledford initiated an internal investigation with the King County Sheriff’s Office and Wright was placed on administrative leave.

By late June and early July 2013 the internal investigation revealed evidence of criminal activity and Sheriff John Urquhart appointed detectives to initiate a parallel criminal investigation. Wright resigned from the Sheriff’s Office just prior to his termination. The criminal investigation led to a search warrant of his residence in Bothell. Wright was arrested and booked into the King County Jail for Violation of the Uniform Substance Act, Theft 1, and Tampering with Evidence.

In August, he posted bail and was released. State charges have not been filed on that case.

By October, Wright had become very active within the criminal culture in north King and south Snohomish counties. He was routinely contacted by Shoreline patrol officers in high narcotic and prostitution areas and those contacts were reported by Shoreline officers to their supervisor.

Sheriff Urquhart contacted the Seattle office of the Drug Enforcement Agency and requested assistance. By November, a task force compromised of undercover detectives from numerous agencies was formed to determine the extent of Wright’s criminal activity.

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