Puyallup Tribal Police officer Joey Tracy played an integral part in helping the Fife Police Department close a big case.
The large-scale burglary at Sportco Outdoor Sporting Good Warehouse in December left Fife PD without any leads on who lifted more than $20,000 worth of guns from the retailer.
"There was absolutely no information as to who did what," Joey Tracy said. Lt. William Loescher, who oversees the Tribal Police Department's gang unit, asked his officers to reach out to their sources for any leads.
Joey Tracy, who has been developing source relationships with local gang affiliates for the past three years, was able to get a lead, which ultimately led to the arrest of the suspect.
David Bunta, a 20-year-old man from Tacoma, is charged with one count of first-degree burglary and 41 counts of theft of a firearm.
The firearms charges are Class B felonies, punishable by a prison term of up to 10 years per count. The burglary charge alone is punishable by up to life in prison.
According to Joey Tracy, David Bunta is affiliated the local division of a long-running Asian gang Original Local Boys, which is one of more than 50 active gangs on the Puyallup Indian Reservation.
David Bunta was charged after pleading "not guilty" on Dec. 30, less than two weeks after the two-man burglary Dec. 17.
Fife Police Chief Brad Blackburn formally thanked the Puyallup Tribal Police Department in a letter Jan. 25.
"Without the assistance of your officer, (Joey) Tracy, we would not have been able to solve this case and more importantly get suspects into custody and guns off the street," he stated in the letter, noting that Tacoma, Lakewood and Bonney Lake police departments as well and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms all played a part in pursuing the case.
"While all law enforcement agencies are facing budgetary impacts, it is the combined cooperation of all police agencies in our region that makes an impact on crime."