PORTLAND, Ore. — Police believe they have toppled a Northwest drug kingpin.
Officers say 58-year-old James Yoakum ran a large Crips gang cocaine-trafficking ring and used a Portland barbecue restaurant as a front to launder his money.
Agents used wiretaps and round-the-clock surveillance to monitor the operation investigators think put $300,000 worth of cocaine on the street every month.
Federal agents and local gang investigators arrested 19 people, seized pounds of cocaine and more than $100,000 in cash during their 10-month investigation. In all, 24 people have been indicted in the case.
Federal and local law enforcement agencies displayed guns, cocaine and other contraband to reporters at a press conference in Portland on Monday.
Yoakum has pleaded not guilty.