DEA's Bellingham office makes several arrests in three-county drug bust

SKAGIT VALLEY HERALDMarch 14, 2014 

MOUNT VERNON — Several people were arrested Thursday morning, March 13 following a three-county drug raid executed by the local branch of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Seven locations in Mount Vernon, Burlington, Marysville and Seattle were raided by agents with DEA's Bellingham office. Methamphetamine, heroin and cash were seized.

Seven defendants appeared before a judge on various drug charges in federal court in Seattle on Thursday afternoon, said Agent Jodie Underwood, public information officer with the Seattle DEA branch.

According to court documents, Luis Chimal-Aguirre, also known as Jorge Gonzales-Orobio, of Marysville, is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, methamphetamine.

Edgar Huerta of Burlington is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

Luis Flores of Seattle is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

Investigators allege Huerta supplied Chimal-Aguirre with drugs, which Chimal-Aguirre then supplied to others, including Flores.

According to court documents, agents raided Chimal-Aguirre's residence in Marysville and found him there. Investigators found four cellphones and $15,000 cash. Chimal-Aguirre reportedly claimed the money came from his car business.

Chimal-Aguirre allegedly confirmed to investigators that he had previously supplied a "friend" with methamphetamine. He also told investigators he had previously been arrested for drugs, including two prior felony convictions in Skagit County.

Investigators on Thursday also executed a search warrant at Chimal-Aguirre’s alleged stash in the 200 block of Stanford Drive in Mount Vernon, court documents state. Investigators said they found a half-kilogram of cocaine, related paraphernalia and a "large bundle of cash."

A search at Huerta's residence in the 11000 block of North Skagit Street in Burlington turned up suspected drugs. Investigators said they found a black bag inside the dishwasher that contained about one pound of vacuum-sealed cocaine, a small amount of methamphetamine and paraphernalia. Investigators also found $5,000 in the residence.

Investigators executed a search warrant at Flores' home in Seattle. Investigators said they found 21 grams of a brown substance later identified as heroin and 3.5 grams of a crystal substance that was later identified as methamphetamine. They also seized approximately $50,000 cash.

The investigation, which began in 2012, also involved drugs sold in Whatcom County. The Northwest Regional Drug and Gang Taskforce, the Skagit County Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit and other agencies assisted in the investigation.

Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141, kwanielista@ skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kera—SVH, facebook. com/KeraReports

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