3 men convicted for distributing fentanyl disguised as oxycodone pills across western Washington

Photo courtesy DEA

Three men were convicted on Tuesday of distributing fentanyl disguised as oxycodone pills in Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom Counties. 

Bradley Woolard, 42, who led the drug ring, was convicted of 28 counts that involved conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, illegal gun possession and possessing drugs with the intent to distribute. 

Co-defendants Anthony Pelayo, 34, and Jerome Isham, 40, were convicted of conspiracies related to illegal firearm possession and drug distribution.  

Testimony and exhibits during trial showed evidence that Drug Enforcement Administration and the Snohomish Regional Drug and Gang Taskforce had warrants to search Woolard's home. Law enforcement discovered over 12,000 fentanyl pills disguised as the prescription narcotic oxycodone in July 2018 at his residence. Upon testing, the drugs tested positive for the controlled substance fentanyl. 

Officers also obtained more than $1 million in cash and gold hidden throughout the drywall and ceilings of Woolard's five-acre compound. During the search, law enforcement also seized 29 firearms and several thousand rounds of ammunition. 

RELATED: Seattle detectives seize over 400,000 fentanyl pills, several handguns

During 2015 and 2016, Woolard was buying fentanyl and furanyl fentanyl powder out of China. Woolard began to make homemade pills after purchasing a pill press and mixing materials online from Amazon and eBay, according to trial testimony. 

Woolard's drug operation was capable of producing over 2.5 million fentanyl pills including the pills he would give to other conspirators for distribution. By 2017 pill manufacturing had been turned over to Pelayo who was making them in a remote Snohomish County compound. 

Trial evidence revealed how Woolard began to lead orders from China and distribution while also seeking treatment for his own drug use at resorts in tropical areas which he paid for with the profits of the drug operation.

Eventually, Jerome Isham became involved as a conspiracy top distributor. Evidence revealed that between July 2017 and June 2018, Jerome had re-distributed nearly 100,00 illegal pills. He was also recruiting others to receive shipments of fentanyl from China while Woolard and Pelayo were using wire transfers and bitcoin to pay for the drugs, according to trial evidence. 

Woolard was convicted of being a drug user and an addict in possession of firearms. Isham was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Pelayo has two convictions of money laundering conspiracies, numerous counts of money laundering and possession of a firearm to further drug trafficking operations. 

The three men are set for sentencing on November 16, 2021. 

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