Bellingham police conduct drug sweep along Samish Way, Maritime Heritage


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.


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.


Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or Read his Dispatcher blog at or follow him on Twitter at @bhamcrime.

Bellingham Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service