The Columbia River Drug Task is targeting Fentanyl drug dealers in the Wenatchee Valley, and is reporting significant drug busts involving the powerful opioid this month. 

Drug Task Force Commander Chris Foreman says his team has the resources to develop specialized skills. 

"The primary duty of the Drug Task Force is to combat drugs," said Foreman. "And we get federal funding that helps pay for the Task Force's existence."  

Detectives say they arrested 29-year-old Matthew Hendricks of East Wenatchee, who was in possession of nearly 1,000 Fentanyl pills and close to an ounce of methamphetamine as well as $2,500 in cash. 

They say Hendricks initially fled the scene into a nearby auto body shop when he was confronted by detectives. His charges now include Resisting Arrest after he was found inside hiding behind a car. 

Detectives also say they caught 32-year-old Casey McKinstry of Rock Island in the middle of a drug deal at the Evergreen Smoke Shop parking lot. They say he had 400 fentanyl pills along with other drugs and $4,000 in cash on him. 

McKinstry was out on bail at the time of his arrest and has a case in Douglas County for firearms possession and possession of drugs with intent to sell.  

Both McKinstry and Hendricks are in the Chelan County Jail facing numerous charges for selling drugs and assorted other charges.  

Foreman says the Task Force focuses on Fentanyl for a reason. 

"Most drug dealers deal more than one thing, but Fentanyl is definitely the biggest issue because that's where our overdoses are coming from, and just the shear potency of that drug and the dangers that go along with it," Foreman said. 

He says the Task Force is also charged with focusing on whatever the biggest crime issue is in the valley, which has included homicides and gang activity in the last year. 

Those investigations often require the skill set developed by detectives in the Task Force. 

As commander of the Task Force, Foreman oversees a team of six detectives – three from the Wenatchee Police Department, and one each from the East Wenatchee Police Department, the Chelan County Sheriff's Office and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. 

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