On April 3, 2012, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office assisted agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with a criminal investigation in North Whatcom County. Federal agents had information that a vehicle from California may be involved in narcotics crimes and was currently in Whatcom County.
Deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle in the 300 block of West Pole Road, near Lynden, Washington. The vehicle, with two occupants, fled from the traffic stop and a short vehicle pursuit ensued. The vehicle struck a tree in the 200 block of Pollman Circle and both occupants ran from the vehicle. After a short foot pursuit, one occupant was apprehended by deputies. A Bellingham Police K-9 unit was called to the scene to track the remaining occupant. A short time later, he was found hiding in the 6000 block of Braker Way. Both suspects were taken into custody and later booked into the Whatcom County Jail. One suspect was found to be in possession of a small amount of methamphetamine and both men were found to be in the United States illegally. They are identified as follows:
- Damien Hernandez-Martinez (22 years of age)Booked on the investigation of Attempting to Elude and an Immigration detainer
- Jaime Hernandez-Hernandez (29 years of age)Booked on the investigation of Possession of Methamphetamine and an Immigration detainer
The vehicle the men were driving was turned over to agents of the DEA. A subsequent search found 37 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the rear of the vehicle. The investigation is on-going at this time and is being coordinated by the Bellingham Resident Office of the DEA. The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office case number on this investigation is 2012A06117.