June 26, 2017

Archives for June 2011

Mutiple Search Warrants Served by Drug Task Force

On June 30, 2011, the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force completed a 6 month investigation into the sale and distribution of methamphetamine and cocaine in Whatcom County.  During the course of the investigation, agents of the Task Force made multiple purchases of methamphetamine and cocaine from two suspects and identified several residences associated with the sale and distribution of narcotics. The investigation concluded with the execution of three simultaneous search warrants in the Lynden and Custer areas of Whatcom County.

On Thursday, June 30th the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force, assisted by members of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, Everson Police Department, Lynden Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Skagit County Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit and the Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Investigation and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Border Patrol served three (3) simultaneous search warrants at residences in the Custer and Lynden areas of Whatcom County. 

One search warrant was executed in the 7900 block of Enterprise Rd. Two adult male suspects were arrested at the residence and booked on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.  Approximately a pound of methamphetamine was seized during the warrant service, as well as one loaded handgun, 7 rifles/shotguns and approximately $1,000 in US Currency.  In addition, approximately a half pound of cocaine was found buried in the ground near the residence.  The individuals arrested are identified as followed with their listed charges:

SEJA-PARDO, Luis (30 YOA) 7980 Enterprise Rd. Custer, WA

Arrested for the investigation of 2 counts of Delivery of Methamphetamine, 1 count Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver, one count Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Deliver and Maintaining a Vehicle/Premises for Drug Trafficking.

VARELA-RUBI, Howell Jose (20 YOA)7980 Enterprise Rd Ferndale WA

 Arrested for the investigation of one count of Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver, one count of Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Deliver and Maintaining a Premises for Drug Trafficking.

 A second search warrant was served at a residence in the 200 block of Vine Court in Lynden, WA.  One adult male suspect was taken into custody during the execution of the warrant. Approximately $1200 U.S. currency was seized during the warrant service.

The individuals arrested are identified as followed with their listed charges:

 ZAVALA-YANEZ, Alejandro (40 YOA) 216 Vine Court Lynden, WA

 Arrested for investigation of 2 counts of Delivery of Methamphetamine.

 A third search warrant was served at a residence in the 2900 block of Main St. in Custer, WA.  One adult male was taken into custody during the execution of the warrant.

The individuals arrested are identified as followed with their listed charges:

ZAMORA-RAMIREZ, Roberto (31 YOA) 2903 Main Street Custer, WA

 Arrested for investigation of 3 counts of Delivery of Methamphetamine, 2 counts of Delivery of Cocaine and Maintaining a Premises for Drug Trafficking.

Second Suspect in Stabbing Case Arrested

Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office investigators have arrested the second juvenile male that was involved in the assault early this morning on South Red River Road. The 17-year-old was interviewed and booked into Juvenile Detention on two counts of assault in the first degree.  The investigation is continuing.

Sheriff’s Office Responds to Major Crime on Lummi Nation

Sheriff’s Office Investigating Multiple Stabbing:

 At approximately 0340 hours this morning a call was received by What-Comm 911 center regarding a stabbing that occurred in the 2600 block of South Red River Road on the Lummi Reservation.  Lummi Nation Police were initially dispatched to the location, and later Whatcom County Sheriff’s Deputies, and Ferndale Police also responded. Customs and Border Protection also provided a helicopter as it was reported that a suspect was at large in the area.

Upon initial investigation it was reported that several persons were assaulted at a residence.  Four victims, 3 adult males and 1 adult female were all stabbed.  The most serious injuries were sustained by one adult male who was stabbed in the neck and chest.  He was transported to St. Josephs Hospital in Bellingham where he underwent surgery. His condition was initially listed as “serious”.  Two other vicims went to the hospital as well with non-life threatening injuries. The remaining victim refused medical treatment and left the scene. Two victims have been treated and released.

The two suspects in this case were identified as juvenile males (16 and 17 years old). The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office is the primary investigating agency assisted by Lummi Nation Police.  Initial information indicated that there was a party at the residence and a dispute occurred where one subject was stabbed.  Other persons present tried to intervene at which time additional victims were stabbed. One suspect then fled the scene on foot and the second suspect was still there when officers arrived and was taken into custody.  He has been booked into Juvenile Detention for 1st degree assault.

The names of the victims as well as names of the juvenile suspects are not being released.  The incident remains under investigation and efforts to locate the second suspect who remains at large are ongoing.

Practice the 3 B’s During Fireworks Use

Law Enforcement Partners Urge Care and Safety with Fireworks

 On Tuesday June 28, at 12 noon the Whatcom County Fire Marshal issued the permits necessary to open about 6 retail fireworks stands in unincorporated Whatcom County.

 Fireworks are legal to possess between June 28th and July 5th in unincorporated Whatcom County.  They are legal to discharge until 11pm on those days except on July 4 they may be discharged until 12 midnight.  

Yearly, the Whatcom County Fire Marshal and the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office has partnered in a county wide campaign to inform the public about illegal fireworks and the dangers they posses to the public.

Every year in Washington State fireworks (both legal and illegal) cause millions of dollars in property damage and injuries to the public as reported to the Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office. Due to increasing concerns regarding  the continuing incidence of fireworks related damage and injuries, the Washington State Fire Marshal is asking that only adults light off fireworks in order to lessen the risk of injury to children.

We are very proud to report that, locally in Whatcom County, fireworks related complaints, fires, and injuries have been on the decrease. Numbers provided to the Fire Marshall during a recent review by the Washington State Patrol show that in the 4 year period from 2006-2009 state fireworks incidents in Washington State increased 19%.  During the same time in Whatcom County they decreased 85%.   We attribute the decrease to an active enforcement and education program.

“THE 3 B’s”

BEFORE LIGHTING FIREWORKS—“Be Prepared!”

Purchase only legal fireworks, available at licensed stands.  Purchase only the quantity that you will use.  Ensure the safety of pets.  Keep a bucket of water nearby in which to place all used fireworks.  Have a water hose or fire extinguisher nearby to put out stray sparks.  Clear a level area away from things that can burn.  Know the emergency number to call for your area, your address/location, and basic first aid.  Teach your children to “stop, drop, and roll” if their clothes catch on fire.

WHEN LIGHTING FIREWORKS—“Be Safe!”

Only adults should light fireworks.  Use eye protection, wear safety goggles.  Light one at a time and move away quickly.  Keep spectators at a safe distance.  Use only outdoors, away from anything that can burn.   To prevent injuries, follow the directions on the label carefully.  Be considerate of your neighbors, family pets and your environment.

WHEN FINISHED — “Be Responsible!”

Clean up all debris when finished.  Duds can be dangerous; if a fireworks item does not light or fire, an adult should wait at least five minutes, approach it carefully, and place it in a bucket of water.  Make sure unused fireworks, matches and lighters are out of sight and reach of children.

Work Release Inmate Sought

Michael Williams was last seen as he walked away from the work release crew as they prepared for their daily assignment.  As the crew was loading equipment, shortly after 9:00am this morning, Williams left the area at Smith and Northwest Roads.  He was wearing a white t-shirt, grey pants with cuffs rolled up and brown shoes.  He currently has a goatee.  A search of the area, which included a canine unit was unsuccessful.  It is possible that Williams was picked up by a vehicle nearby.  He was serving time for Probation Violations and Misdemeanor Theft.  He is now wanted for Escape 2nd Degree.  His destination is unknown – anyone with information as to the location of Williams is asked to call 9-1-1.

WANTED: Michael Rodger Williams, 40 years of age, 5-09, 160 Blue eyes, brown hair, last address: 2100 Alabama St #10, Bellingham

Homicide Suspect Wanted Since 1984 Caught by Fingerprint Check

On Friday, June 24t at approximately 1500 hours, a Whatcom County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to the United States Customs and Border Protection Truck Crossing in Blaine where a suspected fugitive was detained.

Suhail Shanti (date of birth 2-14-63)of Burnaby, British Columbia had been fingerprinted by Customs and Border Protection Officers in connection with his application for a NEXUS pass application.  NEXUS passes are a form of pre-clearance to help facilitate expedited entry into the United States and Canada.

A return on the fingerprint check revealed that Shanti was wanted in Leflore County Oklahoma on a warrant charging him with Murder in the First Degree.  The warrant was based on an information filed in Oklamhoma courts in 1983 and had been issued on April 9, 1984 after Shanti failed to appear in court. Leflore County officials confirmed the warrant and indicated that they would seek Shanti’s extradition back to Oklahoma to face charges.

Shanti was arrested by deputies and booked into the Whatcom County Jail pending extradition to Oklahoma.

Sheriff Bill Elfo said: “The border crossings are like a net – in recent years, 45-60 fugitives from around the United States and even the world are apprehended while trying to enter the United States or Canada at the Ports of Entry in Whatcom County.”

Sheriff’s Office Launching Extra Patrols on County Waters

Operation Dry Water

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Marine Services Unit will be participating in extra patrols targeting drug and alcohol impaired boat operators this week.Operation Dry Water Trailer

Operation Dry Water was launched in 2009 by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in partnership with the United States Coast Guard and has been a highly successful effort to draw public attention to the hazards of Boating Under the Influence (BUI) of alcohol and drugs.  

Held in June just prior to the 4th of July holiday, Operation Dry Water is a national weekend of BUI detection and enforcement aimed at reducing the number of alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities and fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol and drug use on the water. 

Deputies will be making contacts, doing safety checks and performing enforcement activities as part of the emphasis which is scheduled for June 24-26.  Regular enforcment patrols are scheduled to occur throughout the 2011 recreational boating season as well.

Further information on boating under the influence enforcement and Operation Dry Water can be found at: www.operationdrywater.org

Washington State boaters are also reminded that the mandatory boater education card is required for operators 35 years of age and younger.  Further information on eduaction card requirements can be found at www.parks.wa.gov/boating/boatered

Deputies Catch Converter Thief In The Act

WCSO Deputies Keith Linderman and Ken Gates apprehended a Birch Bay area man while he was in the act of sawing a catalytic converter off of a truck parked in a storage yard at Baywood Park. 

Sunday morning at 0250 hours, Deputy Linderman was responding to a Verbal Domestic at Baywood Park (4672 Birch Bay Lynden Road) when he heard what appeared to be a sawing sound coming from inside a locked and fenced area used for vehicle and RV storage.

Deputy Linderman and Deputy Gates approached the sound, which was coming from underneath a truck, and turned their flashlights on, catching Monte Lew Mead, 55 years of age, in the act of cutting off the vehicle’s catalytic converter.  Mead claimed that this was the first time he had done this, but he had a supply of hacksaws, a backpack, a flashlight, miscellaneous tools, and even some oil to help with the sawing.  He was booked into the Whatcom County Jail for Burglary 2nd and Theft 3rd.

Catalytic converters have become a target for theives, who can sell the car exhaust component at scrap dealers due to the precious metals that they contain.

Another example of great work by the dedicated men and women of the Sheriff’s Office!

Catalytic Converter

Deputies Skillfully Resolve Standoff With Armed Suicidal Subject

Deputies negotiate successful resolution to standoff with suicidal subject armed with a shotgun.

 On Saturday, June 11th at approx 1:20 PM, a Ferndale area woman reported that her 47 year old husband had threatened to commit suicide and left the family home armed with a shotgun.  Deputies located the man’s vehicle on the Lummi Nation near Hillaire Road and North Red River Road.  An empty box of shotgun shells was found near the vehicle.

 Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine, Bellingham, was requested to deploy a helicopter to help search for the man.  The man was located in a nearby field armed with a shotgun. Deputies and Officers from Lummi Law and Order set up a perimeter to contain the suspect and prevent injury to others.

Members of the The Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team (SRT) were on scene, including a crisis negotiator, who initially spoke with the man as he verbalized his intent to kill himself.  Although the suspect became non-communicative with negotiators after the initial contact, negotiations continued by loudspeaker for nearly three hours until the man was persuaded to put down his firearm and surrender to law enforcement.

The man was taken into protective custody and transported by deputies for a mental health evaluation and treatment.  No one was injured.

Sheriff Elfo said: “The Sheriff’s SRT Negotiators train to communicate with dangerous suspects and those in mental health crisis to safely resolve encounters such as these through persuasion and negotiation. I am very proud of how our deputies handled this incident and am grateful for the cooperation and assistance we received from Lummi Law and Order and Customs and Border Protection – Air and Marine.”

Help the Sheriff’s Office reduce burglaries and theft in Birch Bay

The Sheriff’s Office is asking Birch Bay area residents to take extra precautions and report suspicious activity due to recent daytime burglaries and thefts.  While the incidence of property crime in Birch Bay in 2011 dropped from 2010 levels, the Sheriff’s Office is committed to driving the crime rate down further. 

The burglaries and thefts appear to be sporadic and not isolated to a specific Birch Bay neighborhood.  Residences closest to Birch Bay Lynden Road, Bay Road and the Double R Ranch appear to have been targeted during the first quarter of the year. 

Although the Birch Bay Neighborhood Deputy is on an extended absence, other Sheriff’s Office resources have been deployed to patrolling the Birch Bay area, preventing these crimes and capturing the persons responsible.

 Sheriff Elfo said: “We have launched a plan of attack to reduce property crime but need the community’s help in watching out for their neighbors and in immediately reporting any suspicious activity by calling 9-1-1. 

Residents should also exercise common sense precautions such as keeping their doors and windows secure, maintain the appearance that the residence may be occupied by leaving on a radio and interior lights and ensure adequate outside lighting.  When on vacation, ensure that newspaper delivery is suspended and that the lawn is cut.  If you suspect someone has entered your home, do not enter; call 9-1-1.”

Sheriff Elfo said: “Knowing your neighbors and watching out for one and other is one of the most effective means to prevent burglaries and other property crime.”

Sheriff Elfo said that the Sheriff’s Office volunteer “Citizens on Patrol” are available to conduct vacation house checks.  Requests can be made to the Sheriff’s Office during business hours at 676-6650 or online at: www.co.whatcom.wa.us/sheriff

For further information on home and neighborhood safety go to the National Crime Prevention site at: http://www.ncpc.org/topics/home-and-neighborhood-safety