Cops uncover meth in two locations

Two simultaneous drug stings in Oak Harbor and on Central Whidbey netted about $3,400 worth of high-quality methamphetamine Thursday, according to the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

The busts were a joint operation between the Oak Harbor Police Department and the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

Oak Harbor police officers served a narcotics search warrant at a home in north Oak Harbor. They recovered 32 grams of meth, scales, packaging material, a “sawed off” .22 caliber rifle and more than $400 in cash, according to a release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Police arrested 64-year-old Edison Walters on suspicion of unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of an illegal firearm and possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

At about the same time, deputies from the Island County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant at a home in Greenbank. They recovered a similar quantity of meth, scales, packaging material and more than $3,000 in cash.

Deputies arrested 43-year-old Mark Crow and 50-year-old Cherie Ramirez on suspicion of possession of meth with intent to deliver.

According to a press release, the Island County Sheriff’s drug detective said the suspects are local drug dealers known for selling large quantities of meth on a regular basis. He added that the investigations are ongoing and more arrests are expected.

According to Sheriff Mark Brown, methamphetamine much more than any other drug contributes to local occurrences of identity theft, burglary and vehicle prowls.

Brown also said the detectives, deputies and officers worked long hours on the complex investigation.

“My manpower levels, particularly in the area of investigations, have been understaffed and need to be increased,” he said in a press release. “Crimes such as this will continue and likely increase until we can address this staffing problem.”

This is the second major drug operation this month for the Sheriff’s Office. Earlier this month, deputies uncovered two sizable marijuana grow operations, seized nearly 150 plants and took two men into custody.

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