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Oak Harbor sweep nets dealers, drugs and guns

Renee Mueller, the Oak Harbor police evidence technician, displays a shotgun, a pistol and heroin that investigators seized in a drug bust Friday. - Jessie Stensland/Whidbey News-Times
Renee Mueller, the Oak Harbor police evidence technician, displays a shotgun, a pistol and heroin that investigators seized in a drug bust Friday.
— image credit: Jessie Stensland/Whidbey News-Times

Investigators with the Oak Harbor police and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service took five suspected drug dealers off the streets of the city in the last two weeks, according to police.

Oak Harbor Police Detective Carl Seim said that officers seized significant amounts of heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana — as well as a car, guns, grow equipment and cash — in four separate, unrelated drug busts.

Seim said the investigators served the first search warrant at a home on Highway 20, just north of Ault Field Road, on March 17. He said he was able to obtain the search warrant after a confidential informant made multiple controlled buys of pot from the suspect, 43-year-old Robert Berka.

The officers discovered marijuana grow operations in two sheds. Seim indicated the set-up was somewhat sophisticated and included a giant exhaust fan and filter to reduce the pot odor on the outside.

The officers found 125 plants in various stages of growth, as well as a couple of ounces of pot in the house. In addition, there was marijuana-laced butter, pot-enhanced baked goods and liquor infused with the weed, according to police.

Berka had “a medical marijuana card,” Seim said, but he had more pot than the amount allowed under state law. Berka was arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. The police seized the marijuana and the growing equipment.

Then on Friday, the police and NCIS team served three different search warrants. Seim said they saw one of the suspects, 43-year-old Lisa Kamiya, driving away, so they had a patrol officer pull her over. The officers found 4.5 grams of meth, along with a couple of unidentified pills and a small amount of pot, in a pouch she had in the front of her pants, according to Seim.

Investigators were able to obtain a search warrant of Kamiya’s home based on an informant’s previous controlled buys of meth from her, Seim said. They found drug paraphernalia, scales and numerous plastic baggies at her home.

The officers arrested Kamiya on suspicion of possession of meth with intent to deliver.

“She was well known in the meth community as a dealer and a user,” Lt. Tim Sterkel with the Oak Harbor Police Department said. “It’s a substantial arrest for the community.”

Next, the team turned their attention to 27-year-old Caleb Love and 25-year-old Joel Raymond. Seim said the two men, who “hang out together,” had sold both heroin and cocaine to an informant in controlled drug purchases.

On Friday, the investigators noticed Love driving away with Raymond, so they pulled them over. Seim said the officers saw a glass container with heroin in plain view in the car. Also, Love had a pouch that contained black tar heroin and a Visine bottle with liquid heroin, the detective indicated.

The police seized the 1996 Cadillac Deville and brought it to the police department to search. A stun gun and a laptop computer, possibly stolen, were found in the car, according to the police.

The detective said that the team also served a search warrant on Love’s residence and found more heroin, a loaded shotgun and a 9mm handgun. Love is a convicted felon, Seim said, and not allowed to possess firearms.

In all, the police reported they seized more than an ounce of heroin, which is worth around $800 on the street.

Both Love and Raymond were arrested on suspicion of possession of heroin with intent to deliver.

Finally, the team served a search warrant on the home of an 18-year-old man suspected of dealing pot to kids. The investigators had previously documented a confidential informant making controlled buys of pot from the suspect, Mark Delacruz, according to police.

“We received information from the high school that he was dealing to students outside the commissary on the Seaplane Base,” Seim said.

The investigators searched his home and found $640 in cash and drug paraphernalia. Seim said they arrested Delacruz on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver based on the prior controlled buys.

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