Meth car suffers crushing experience

A meth-contaminated Honda Civic that Oak Harbor police seized from a suspected drug dealer was crushed at Christian’s Auto Thursday. - Jessie Stensland/Whidbey News-Times
A meth-contaminated Honda Civic that Oak Harbor police seized from a suspected drug dealer was crushed at Christian’s Auto Thursday.
— image credit: Jessie Stensland/Whidbey News-Times

A methamphetamine-contaminated car that Oak Harbor police seized in a drug bust last December was turned into a steel pancake Thursday afternoon.

Oak Harbor police on Dec. 2 arrested 29-year-old Jose Rosas Robles on suspicion of dealing heroin in a conspicuous bust on Highway 20 near Safeway.

Investigators were looking for Rosas Robles after the police and agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service oversaw multiple purchases of black tar heroin from him, the police said.

The investigators seized more than an ounce of meth, a small amount of heroin and $1,700 in cash off Rosas Robles. After obtaining a search warrant, they also seized $1,300 in cash and drug paraphernalia from the the 1995 Honda Accord he was driving, according to Detective Carl Seim.

Afterward, Seim served Rosas Robles and the registered owner of the car with seizure notices. Nobody responded within 45 days, so the car became city property.

Seim was suspicious that meth may have been smoked in the car, so he asked Marie Piper, an environmental health specialist at the county health department, to test the interior of the car for meth contamination.

The tests came back positive. The swabs showed meth levels at 28 and 25 micrograms per 100 centimeters squared, which is far above the state standard of 0.1 micrograms per 100 centimeters squared.

Seim said the cost of decontaminating the car likely would have been greater than its value, so the police decided to have it crushed. The parts couldn’t be sold off because of the contamination.

Thursday afternoon, a group of law enforcement and health officials involved in the investigation gathered at Christian’s Auto Wrecking to watch the Civic get crushed. Seim got to push the button on the E-Z Crusher, which quickly flattened the car.

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