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Police keep heat on drug dealers

Authorities say the number of drug arrests made by the Island County Sheriff’s Office last year shows the strides being made to stem the flow of narcotic-related crimes.

Nineteen narcotic search warrants led to 25 felony arrests for possession with intent to deliver or manufacturing of a controlled substance. While executing the warrants, the sheriff’s office seized over 300 marijuana plants with an approximate street value of $300,000; 18 pounds of harvested, unprocessed marijuana worth $20,000; and 15 pounds of processed marijuana with a value pegged at $37,500.

Higher up in the drug caste system, eight ounces of methamphetamine, an ounce of crack cocaine, and more than three grams of heroin were seized, totaling approximately $8,200 in value. More than $7,000 in currency was also confiscated.

Sheriff Mark Brown credited the numbers and the impact on the drug community to the aggressiveness of patrols, investigations and prosecution of the cases.

“It is a combined effort of my patrol deputies, detectives and the prosecuting attorney’s office, as well as the Oak Harbor Police and Naval Criminal Investigative Service that has made this possible,” he said.

The sheriff’s office generated 42 manufacturing/delivery drug cases last year, some of which are currently under investigation. Two arrests last year significantly reduced the availability of meth in the county, Brown said in a press release, but the work is far from done.

Mark Crow was convicted in Superior Court Jan. 10 of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver. The 57-year-old man faces a minimum sentence of 84 months in prison, which includes a 24-month enhancement for the commission of the crime’s proximity to a school bus stop, and a maximum of 144 months.

Edison Walters, who was arrested at the same time as Crow and pleaded guilty late last year to possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and unlawful possession of a short-barreled rifle, is currently serving a 74-month prison sentence.

“Island County is committed to our goal of reducing and eliminating dangerous drugs in our community,” Brown said.

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