Bellingham police conduct drug sweep along Samish Way, Maritime Heritage

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 13, 2013 

Bellingham drug sweep

Bellingham Police detectives Ben Vodopich, left, and Sue Howell arrest Eric Goggons on Samish Way in Bellingham Wednesday, June 12, 2013, in Bellingham, during a warrant sweep that targeted 30 suspected drug dealers.

PHILIP A. DWYER — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

BELLINGHAM - Bellingham police detectives scoured several hotbeds for crime Wednesday, June 12, in a warrant sweep targeting 33 suspected drug dealers.

Recent complaints from businesses and the public prompted police to crack down on the pervasive drug problem in the motel row along Samish Way and in Maritime Heritage Park.

Over the course of the past four weeks, a handful of undercover officers bought narcotics - mostly meth, heroin and cocaine - from each of the men and women, said Bellingham Police Lt. Rick Sucee.

"I mean, 30 people in four weeks," he said. "They'd sell to anybody, even a child. These guys are just a menace."

Few, if any, of these particular suspects live at fixed addresses. Many live out of hotels on Samish, or wherever they can find a bed.

"But these people are creatures of habit," Sucee said. "We know where they're going to surface."

So in the light drizzle Wednesday afternoon, officers with the Bellingham Police Special Investigations Unit patrolled the streets on the lookout for familiar faces.

Sucee armed himself with pages of mugshots, checking names off the list through the afternoon.

In a matter of hours, nearly half of those wanted had been booked into jail - none of them, supposedly, aware they were sought on suspicion of drug delivery charges in the first place.

Those arrested in the afternoon: Donovan Brown; Earnest Keith Deal; Chandra Sue Dibley; Levi Zakery Garrett; Eric Dwight Goggans; Paul W. Harvey; Raphaella M. Hernandez-Estrada; Christopher D. W. Mayse; Nathan Scott Rackliff; James Dean Rittel; Harold Lee Shockey; Thomas Garcia Trujillo; Leanne D. M. Whitecotton.


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Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or caleb.hutton@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Dispatcher blog at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher or follow him on Twitter at @bhamcrime.

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