Big Drug Bust Near Oroville Includes Fentanyl, Meth, Guns
A multi-agency law enforcement investigation has resulted in the seizure of more than 100 pounds of illegal narcotics and the arrest of multiple suspects.
The Okanogan County Sheriff's Office was involved in the bust which included the discovery of approximately 161,000 fentanyl-laced pills (including Mexi-blues and rainbow-colored pills), and 80 pounds of methamphetamine, as well as six pounds of heroin, two pounds of cocaine, and a dozen firearms at several locations near the Canadian border in the Oroville vicinity.
The drugs were all seized on April 19 according to a news release from Okanogan County Sheriff Paul Budrow.
Most of the seized narcotics are believed to have been intended for illegal distribution within the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, as well as other tribal lands in Washington and Montana.
Court documents attached to the investigation have also revealed the arrests of five individuals who are suspected of trafficking the drugs, including Erubey Arciga Medrano, Luis Esquivel-Balonos, Chad Winston Vanetta, Emily Wisdom, and Jeremy Wright.
Each of the suspects have been indicted by a federal grand jury for the Eastern District of Washington on charges of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and 400 grams or more of fentanyl, among others.
Additional agencies involved in the investigation include the Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Drug Enforcement, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the North Central Washington Narcotics Task Force, the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Colville Tribal Police Department, and the Kalispel Tribal Police Department.
The case against the five suspects is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard R. Barker.