Officers make largest bust of hard drugs in Wenatchee history

WENATCHEE, Wash. - Officers following up on a tip made the largest bust of hard drugs in the history of Wenatchee on Friday, seizing bulk quantities of methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine - along with firearms - found at a home there.

A 31-year-old resident at the home, who is believed to be an illegal alien, was arrested for investigation of several felonies, said Sgt. John Kruse of the Wenatchee police.

The drug bust unfolded Friday when a Homeland Security agent and a Wenatchee police officer went to a home in the 600 block of Orondo Street. They wanted to question the residents about a vehicle stopped earlier along the I-5 corridor that had drugs in it and a potential ownership tie to the Wenatchee address.

When the officers arrived at the residence they found a 31-year-old man in the driveway. The officers became suspicious after speaking with him and asked for a drug-sniffing K-9 police dog to respond, Kruse said.

The dog detected drugs in a vehicle with California license plates parked outside the home. The suspect then told the officers there was a significant amount of narcotics in the home as well as firearms.

More officers were brought in from a drug task force and the Washington State Patrol, and a search warrant was served at the home.

Inside, the officers found some 25 pounds of methamphetamine, nearly five pounds of cocaine and almost nine pounds of heroin, along with chemicals that indicated the meth was being processed into a crystalized form at the residence by the suspect.

Kruse said the bust was the largest amount of hard drugs ever found by law enforcement officials in Wenatchee, and it is likely tied to trafficking operations from a Mexican drug cartel.

Also found at the home were two semi-automatic pistols and a shotgun. One of the firearms was believed to be stolen.

The suspect was arrested for investigation of several possible felonies, including unlawful possession of the firearms as well as possession of narcotics with the intent to deliver them. He is also being held on an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement hold since he is a suspected illegal alien, Kruse said.

An investigation to determine who else is involved with this drug trafficking operation continues.