Crime

Sheriff: Drug-dealing Ferndale couple moved ‘pound a week’ of heroin into Whatcom County

A Ferndale couple accused of bringing “a pound a week” of heroin to Whatcom County was arrested this week, according to the sheriff’s office.

Angel Alvarracin-Gutama, 40, sold heroin four times in two months to undercover police from the Whatcom Gang and Drug Task Force, said Sheriff Bill Elfo. Police bought about six grams each time.

Officers pulled over Alvarracin-Gutama’s car Wednesday morning, Feb. 25, near the Bakerview Road exit off Interstate 5. Alvarracin-Gutama and his girlfriend, Heidy Duenas-Cifuentes, 30, were arrested. Surveillance on the pair suggested they’d been “moving about a pound a week” of heroin into Whatcom County, Elfo said.

The task force got a warrant to search their home on Snowden Drive: Officers seized 152 grams of heroin, a street value of $100 per gram; 2.8 grams of meth; and $13,060 cash. Two vehicles used during the sales were taken, too, Elfo said.

Deputies believe Alvarracin-Gutama, a citizen of Ecuador, and Duenas-Cifuentes, a Colombian immigrant, were in the country illegally. Duenas-Cifuentes has recently been in “proceedings regarding her legal status,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Alvarracin-Gutama faces four counts of delivering heroin, maintaining a premises for drug trafficking, possessing heroin with intent to deliver and possessing methamphetamine. He’s jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail. Duenas-Cifuentes faces the same charges, except for the delivery of heroin. Her bail was set at $100,000.

Opiate abuse, as of late, has been “off the charts” in Whatcom County, leading police to crack down on heroin dealers, Elfo said. Customers and other people with ties to Alvarracin-Gutama have been identified, the sheriff added, and could be arrested in the coming days.

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