WALLA WALLA –Police arrested two men in separate SWAT raids early this morning following investigations by the Walla Walla Police Department Specials Teams Unit into drug trafficking and gang violence.
Officer Tim Bennett, department spokesman, issued a news release stating SWAT team members arrested Mario Diaz Jr., 19, at roughly 6 a.m. At 247 W. Chestnut St. in connection with an assault on New Year’s morning.
According to Bennett, Diaz was a primary suspect in an assault on two men who were walking in the area of Chase and Chestnut Street on Jan. 1. The two men reported they were attacked and beaten by roughly 15 gang members.
Both victims told police their attackers had brandished weapons, and that Diaz had pointed a handgun at one of the men, and told him not to move while other gang members kicked him while on the ground, Bennett stated in the release.
Bennett also stated Diaz attempted to flee when SWAT team members forced entry into the residence on Chestnut, but no one was injured during the raid.
Diaz was lodged in the Walla Walla County Jail for investigation of second-degree assault, felony riot and possession of a pistol by a minor.
Police also arrested a man in connection with an investigation into drug trafficking in a separate raid, conducted at 203 N. Fifth Ave. at roughly 6:30 a.m.
According to Bennett, Steven Duggan, 47, was taken into custody without incident for investigation of two counts of delivery of methamphetamine. Duggan is also wanted in Oregon for a parole violation. Bennett said.