Police search uncovers guns, drugs

Police response to an assault led to the discovery of illegal guns, fentanyl and methamphetamine.

Police response to a shovel-related assault led to the discovery of illegal guns and significant amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine inside two cars, according to the Oak Harbor Police Department.

Emergency dispatchers received multiple calls of a fight in the southwest area of the city at about 11:14 p.m. on Feb. 2. The callers reported that people were armed with guns and someone might have been struck with a shovel, the police reported.

Prior to law enforcement arriving, the primary suspect fled the scene in a silver Audi station wagon.

But police officers, with the assistance of deputies with the Island County Sheriff’s Office, stopped a black BMW and spoke with the driver. The man was uncooperative with police and lied about his identity, the police reported, but officers recognized him and arrested him on outstanding felony warrants out of Skagit County.

Oak Harbor Police Capt. Mike Bailey explained that at least a half dozen people were involved in the incident.

“We don’t know what the fight was about at this point. We are not getting much cooperation,” he said, adding that officers are continuing to investigate.

The BMW was impounded and towed to the police department. The silver Audi was discovered the next day, abandoned several miles away from the scene of the assault. It was also impounded.

Detectives served a search warrant on both vehicles Feb. 8. They discovered two stolen sawed-off shotguns, a Romanian AK-47 rifle, 100 grams of suspected meth, 12 grams of suspected fentanyl pills and drug paraphernalia.

Bailey said that it’s still relatively unusual for police in the city to come across fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and has caused many overdose deaths across the country. Still, he said, the drug is more common locally than it was a year ago.

Bailey said the man who is in custody in Skagit County will face new charges related to the illegal weapons and narcotics. It’s likely, he said, that additional suspects will also face charges in connection with the case. All the people involved are known to the police from past contacts.