Traffic stop leads to major crime ring bust near city limits

Dennis Box, The Courier-Herald

A major crime ring was busted May 11 in the 24000 block of state Route 410, just outside the city limits of Bonney Lake.

The bust resulted in the arrest of two men in their mid-40s, both convicted felons with felony warrants out for their arrest. They were booked into Pierce County jail.

The incident began around 9 a.m. with an attempted traffic stop for expired tabs by Bonney Lake Officer Kyle Torgerson.

The driver of the vehicle refused to stop.

The man turned into a private driveway and jumped out of the vehicle giving the appearance he was about to run. He stopped and complied with Torgerson's order to return to his vehicle.

The officer arrested the man.

Torgerson noted an altered identification number on the vehicle the man was driving and contacted the Washington State Patrol Auto Theft Unit.

Troopers arrived on the scene and decided the car was not stolen, but after an investigation of the premises, they found other stolen vehicles.

The homeowner was located in the residence, but would not answer the door.

"At that point the troopers back off and got a search warrant," Washington State Patrol Trooper Johnny Alexander said

The troopers entered the home after getting a search warrant. Inside they found an arsenal of weapons: four handguns, three assault rifle - a Mac 11 equipped with a silencer, an SKS rifle and an AK 47.

Along with the weapons, hundreds of rounds of ammunition were found, 24 loaded magazines and a bulletproof vest.

Investigators also found one methamphetamine lab inside the residence and another inside a cargo trailer on the property.

Alexander said evidence of an identity theft operation was found inside the home.

On the property three stolen cargo trailers were discovered along with a pair of stolen all-terrain vehicles.

Alexander stated the investigation continues.

"Our officer did an excellent job in a dangerous situation," Bonney Lake Police Chief Bryan Jeter said.

Dennis Box can be reached at

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