EVERETT, Wash. - Detectives say they’ve put a stop to one of the most prolific fentanyl operations in Snohomish County, which was allegedly being run by just one person.
The 46-year-old suspect was arrested last week, and the Snohomish Regional Task Force said he is believed to be responsible for a large portion of the drugs being sold and used in the area.
According to authorities, officers on Friday contacted the suspect in a parking lot near 112th St SW and Fourth Ave W. Officers arrested the man, and seized around 150 fentanyl pills, $524,000 in cash, drug packaging, a digital scale and other stolen property.
"We saw that he was one of the main distributors down there delivering the drugs, so we kind of shifted our investigation towards him and we were able to get our team to buy some drugs from him," said Jay Baines, of the Snohomish Regional Task Force. said of the 46-year-old arrested in Everett last week.
Even though they arrested a big player in the game, there are still so many others out there, officials say.
Right now, there are 30 undercover investigations happening, mostly in one part of Everett, near Airport Road and Highway 99.
"Basically, it’s an open-air drug market down there. A lot of fentanyl, a lot of heroin, a lot of methamphetamine," said Baines.
"Spend two or three days here, just park your car, you would see multiple drug peddlers who are small, big, middle-sized going all over doing all kinds of business," said Nipun Prashar, a nearby 7-Eleven franchise owner.
For the past five months, undercover investigators have been on these corners targeting drug dealers and so far, the Snohomish Regional Task Force has made more than 360 arrests in the area.
"It’s great to get the dealers and stuff, but we really want to get people some help. Fentanyl is an epidemic. There’s a lot of people out there that are needing services," Baines said.
He said the task force is also seeing more of what is called "rainbow" fentanyl hit the streets. It's also called ‘Skittles’ because it shares similar resemblance to the candy.