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Sunnyside man shot, arrested in Yakima during drug investigation by DEA officials

YAKIMA - Manuel Sanchez of Sunnyside is under the watchful eye of law enforcement officials at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center after being shot and placed in custody by the Drug Enforcement Agency on suspicion of dealing drugs.

Sanchez was, according to officials, taken into custody last Thursday in Yakima after DEA agents attempted to arrest him and he allegedly attempted to run over an agent with his vehicle.

A law enforcement officer involved in the incident responded to the attempted assault by shooting the suspect.

Court records obtained from the U.S. District Court in Yakima say the use of force was used by law enforcement officials as a response to the attempted vehicular assault.

Officials had been watching Sanchez's activities for about a month.

On June 26 a confidential informant alerted the Yakima Police Department that methamphetamine could be purchased from a Hispanic male named "Manuel."

That started the investigation and detectives, acting on the tip by the confidential informant, helped the informant negotiate a methamphetamine purchase.

The informant made arrangements to purchase half an ounce of methamphetamine from the suspected drug dealer at a Toppenish location on June 26.

Officials said they observed the transaction while the informant paid $600 for what amounted to 15.8 grams of meth.

Law enforcement officers said they were able to obtain a license plate for the vehicle "Manuel" was driving and traced the vehicle's registration to a Grandview address. The registered owner's name was Manuel Sanchez.

According to the court documents, detectives further investigated and found Sanchez's listed address according to the Department of Licensing records is in Sunnyside.

Officials said in the court records another purchase of methamphetamine was arranged for July 9 by the confidential informant.

Before the transaction took place, officers also showed the informant a Department of Licensing photo of the man they suspected of dealing the drugs. The informant, said agents, positively identified Sanchez as the man with whom he had made the June 26 exchange.

Arrangements were made for a second exchange to take place at Home Depot on South First Street in Yakima.

The informant agreed to pay $620 for half an ounce of meth, according to documents. Officials say the transaction was observed and the informant received 14.3 grams of the drug in exchange for the cash.

Officials said they tailed the suspect, who drove to the Sunnyside address they had identified as his place of residence.

Last Thursday, July 26, a third negotiation for methamphetamine was made under the observance of detectives. The informant made arrangements to meet at the same Home Depot store. He agreed to purchase two ounces of meth for approximately $2,000.

Sanchez was observed arriving at the location just after 1 p.m. Officials say he handed the informant a baseball glove and that is when officials, including agents from the DEA, attempted to make the arrest.

"While law enforcement attempted to arrest Sanchez, he attempted to run over an agent using his vehicle," Special Agent Jared Gustin wrote in the criminal complaint, stating officials at that point used "force" on Sanchez and subsequently were able to take him into custody.

The baseball glove, said the agent, was retrieved from the informant's vehicle and officials confirmed two ounces of what's believed to be methamphetamine were found within the glove.

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