A major heroin dealer operating across the street from an elementary school was taken into custody after a lengthy investigation, according to law enforcement officials. The Whatcom County Sheriff and Ferndale Police arrested a 48-year-old woman for allegedly trafficking heroin from her home across the street from the Central Elementary School in Ferndale.
The investigation began with an anonymous tip regarding illegal drug sales out of the First Avenue home. Beginning in February 2018 a combined investigation between city and county officials observed and investigated the allegations. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement made four separate undercover drug purchases. In each transaction, undercover officers recorded buying a substance believed to be heroin. The substances purchased during the investigation were sent to the Washington State Patrol lab for testing. According to the lab, the substance purchased in all four instances was identified as heroin.
The positive tests gave investigators grounds for a search warrant, which was executed on the home in late May 2018. The search turned up a large number of baggies that appeared to be heroin packaged for resale. A field drug test confirmed that the substance was in fact heroin. Officers also seized scales and sales records. Heroin was not the only controlled substance discovered, however. The search also turned up small amounts of prescription drugs as well as methamphetamine. In total, law enforcement seized 5.1 grams of heroin, five clonazepam pills, one oxycodone pill, and one gram of methamphetamine.
The woman was taken to Whatcom County Jail, where she was charged with four counts of delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, and maintaining a premises for drug trafficking. Prosecutors have sought high bail due to the sale happening in close proximity to a school zone.
Seattle Drug Distribution Penalties
To convict you of drug distribution, a prosecutor must prove that you delivered, distributed, or sold a controlled substance. This can be proven even if money never changed hands. While leniency on small amounts of marijuana may lead some to believe Washington State is lax on drug charges, the penalties for drug distribution are severe. Drug distribution is considered a Class C felony in Washington. A Class C felony carries a maximum five-year prison sentence and up to $10,000 in fines. In addition to incarceration and fines, you may also face parole, mandatory drug treatment, and even potentially the seizure of your personal property. It is possible the state can take any of your property used in the course of the crime.
Drug Distribution Offenses
Facing a charge of distributing a controlled substance can be life-altering. The potential penalties can stretch for years and cost you thousands of dollars. With stakes that high, it's important that you have all the help you can get. An attorney experienced in criminal defense law can help you understand your rights and assist you in preparing a strong defense. Steve Karimi is an experienced criminal defense lawyer that is ready to help you fight the charges against you. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi to set up your free consultation.