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According to court documents, over 50 pounds of meth was found and more than 100,000 fentanyl-laced pills were seized by law enforcement.
REGIONAL – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington said one of the largest drug busts in eastern Washington history happened in the Tri-Cities Wednesday.
The FBI’s Southeast Washington Safe Streets Task Force, along with several local law enforcement agencies, executed several federal search warrants at several homes in the Tri-Cities area.
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, Vanessa Waldref, said the investigation showed people living in the Tri-Cities were using the U.S. Postal Service to traffic large amounts of controlled substances.
In total, the FBI and local law enforcement seized more than 100,000 fentanyl-laced pills, which included the pink and rainbow-colored pills. Over 50 pounds of meth and nearly a kilogram of cocaine was also found.
Authorities also took control of nearly $15,000 in cash, along with 20 firearms and a significant amount of ammunition, according to court documents.
U.S. Attorney Waldref said getting the dangerous drugs and weapons off the streets couldn’t have been done without the teamwork of all law enforcement agencies involved.
“I’m grateful to the FBI and our critical Safe Streets Task Force partners for working together to combat this dangerous poison,” Waldref said. “As a result, our neighborhoods and communities are safer and stronger.”
So far, four people have been formerly charged in the case, but there could be more to come.
- Angel Ramon Barajas-Zarate was indicted by a grand jury on one count of attempted possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
- Hector Sanchez-Mendez was charged with possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.
- Jeremy Obediha Hendricks is charged with possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
- Nichole Holland is charged with possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
The case is ongoing and is being investigated by the FBI Task Force and the United States Postal Service Inspection Service. Several local law enforcement agencies also helped with the investigation.
- Benton County Sheriff’s Office
- Richland Police Department
- Kennewick Police Department
- Pasco Police Department
- West Richland Police Department
- Franklin County Sheriff’s Office
- METRO Drug Task Force
- Washington State Department of Corrections
Waldref said the United States Border Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration also assisted in the case. The cases are being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Stephanie Van Marter and Caitlin Baunsgard.
This is an ongoing story and we will continue to update you as more information is available.
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