6 suspects charged in North Sound drug trafficking operation

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(U.S. Attorney's Office)

Six suspects have been federally charged in connection to a Mexico-based drug trafficking operation in the North Sound.

According to the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office, a drug task force and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) were investigating the operation, which they say trafficked drugs in Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish counties.

Agencies served nine federal search warrants in Whatcom and Snohomish County on Wednesday, where they arrested six suspects. Officers also seized 85,000 fentanyl pills, fentanyl powder, crystal meth, cocaine, heroin, $186,000 in cash, five cars and nine firearms.

Authorities say the drug trafficking group was mainly distributing fentanyl pills and fentanyl powder.

U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said the following suspects were charged:

  • 27-year-old Enoc "Victor" Martinez Lopez of Marysville
  • 41-year-old Adam Wisniewski of Bellingham
  • 21-year-old Manuel Garcia Munoz of Marysville
  • 39-year-old Casey Landis of Bellingham
  • 37-year-old Jesse Witteveen of Maple Falls
  • 43-year-old Corbin Saunders of Bellingham

"Drug trafficking organizations are spreading fentanyl pills throughout our district – from rural areas to urban centers," said Brown.  "I commend the coordinated efforts in Whatcom and Skagit Counties to expeditiously interdict these potentially deadly drugs."

According to Brown, Martinez Lopez was the main supplier of drugs to his co-conspirators.

"The widespread availability of fentanyl throughout all parts of Whatcom County represents nothing less than a deadly scourge that has impacted too many individuals and families," said Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo. "The Sheriff’s Office remains committed to using all tools at its disposal to disrupt the activities of those who manufacture, transport or are in any way involved in the distribution or sale of this drug. Towards that end, we will continue to collaborate and work in close concert with federal law enforcement, especially the DEA and HSI."

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The sheriff's office says the five suspects will face federal charges.