Suspected heroin dealer pulled over, arrested

Police officers make a drug-related arrest Wednesday near Safeway in Oak Harbor. Meth, heroin and cash were seized.  - Photo by Joan Nienhuis
Police officers make a drug-related arrest Wednesday near Safeway in Oak Harbor. Meth, heroin and cash were seized.
— image credit: Photo by Joan Nienhuis

Oak Harbor police arrested a 29-year-old man who they say is a drug dealer partially responsible for a recent increase in heroin in the community.

The bust caused a traffic jam on Highway 20 near the Safeway store at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. An officer recognized a driver as a suspect who the police had probable cause to arrest, according to Detective Carl Seim.

Officers pulled the car over on the highway and arrested Jose Rosas Robles, a transient living in the Oak Harbor area, on suspicion of dealing heroin.

The investigators seized more than an ounce of meth, a small amount of heroin and $1,700 in cash off of Rosas Robles. After obtaining a search warrant, they also seized $1,300 in cash and drug paraphernalia from the car, according to the detective.

Detective Sgt. Teri Gardner explained that Oak Harbor police and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service oversaw multiple purchases of black tar heroin from Rosas Robles over the last three months.

Seim, the department’s drug enforcement officer, said he and an NCIS agent first started receiving information about six months ago that heroin was starting to come back into town. In recent years, heroin busts have been relatively uncommon on Whidbey, especially compared to methamphetamine.

“In the past two months, it really increased. We received intel of many heroin users in the area,” he said.

Seim said the heroin appears to be coming from Skagit County. Investigators in Skagit County seized more than four pounds of heroin and arrested six people in a trafficking ring in May, the Skagit Valley Herald reported.

The detective said Rosas Robles is currently in jail and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has a hold on him.

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