Six people from western Washington were charged Wednesday for their roles in a drug ring that distributed heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl in Skagit and Whatcom counties, the office of U.S. Attorney Nick Brown announced.
The main supplier of the drugs - Enoc Martinez Lopez, 27, of Marysville - was charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances including heroin and fentanyl, and distribution of fentanyl.
According to the criminal complaint, in April, investigators saw Martinez Lopez meeting with Adam Wisniewski, 41, of Bellingham, at the Silver Reef Casino in Ferndale. Wisniewski was later arrested with over 1,000 fentanyl pills, fentanyl powder and a gun. He was again arrested in June with two guns and fentanyl pills.
Wisniewski was charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, and two counts of illegal possession of firearms.
Manuel Garcia Munoz, 21, of Marysville, was charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and distribution of heroin for a June 2022 sale of heroin.
Casey Landis, 39, of Bellingham, was charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute including methamphetamine and fentanyl.
According to the criminal complaint, in October, Landis left a fanny pack filled with fentanyl and methamphetamine on a counter at Silver Reef Casino. A search of Landis' phone revealed text messages about drug trafficking with Martinez Lopez and customers.
Jesse Witteveen, 37, of Maple Falls, was charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute.
According to the criminal complaint, on Nov. 1, Witteveen tried getting away from police and threw a bag of drugs from his car window before being taken into custody in Whatcom County. A search of Witteveen's car and home turned up fentanyl pills, methamphetamine, several cellphones, gun parts, and ammunition.
Corbin Saunders, 43, of Bellingham, was charged with unlawful possession of firearms. According to court documents, Saunders is the owner of a Tesla that was seen leaving a known drug-involved residence in Bellingham.
When the car was stopped, a drug dog detected the odor of drugs. Law enforcement officials used a search warrant and recovered methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, an AR-15-style rifle and a 9 mm handgun.
Because of Saunders' prior felony convictions for theft and forgery, and convictions for possession of heroin and methamphetamine, he is not legally allowed to possess guns.
"The results of today's sweeping law enforcement operations show that the DEA, in close collaboration with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners, continue our collective commitment to safeguard our communities from the dangers of fentanyl poisoning by individuals who attempt to sell fake pills, often times doing so while armed," said Jacob D. Galvan, acting special agent in charge, DEA Seattle Field Division.
In total, the investigation resulted in the seizure of 11.5 kilograms of fentanyl pills, 2.8 kilograms of fentanyl powder, 5.7 kilograms of cocaine, 1.6 kilograms of heroin, 8.7 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, more than $186,000 in cash and nine guns.