Police reportedly found heroin, but Whatcom man said he ‘might’ have more in his underwear

Here’s what the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office does

The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office enforces the law in the unincorporated areas of Whatcom County as well as on the county's waterways.
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The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office enforces the law in the unincorporated areas of Whatcom County as well as on the county's waterways.

A Whatcom County man was reportedly found Tuesday, April 17, with a stolen motorcycle and approximately 17 grams of heroin, a small portion of which was found hidden in his underwear as he was being booked into jail.

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office booked Richard Zoland Bowen, 36, on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute and possession of a stolen vehicle, and Whatcom County Jail records show he is being held in lieu of $30,000 bail.

According to the police probable cause statement provided to The Bellingham Herald by Chief Deputy Kevin Hester, the sheriff’s office was called at 4:56 p.m. Tuesday to the 2700 block of Haxton Way by the Department of Corrections to assist with the recovery of a stolen vehicle and a drugs complaint involving Bowen.

Earlier in the day, Lummi police located a 2013 Kawasaki motorcycle that was reported stolen out of Seattle in a driveway outside the home of a person who was under Department of Corrections supervision.

Because that person was under corrections supervision, officers were able to enter the home, where they found a red container with suspected heroin inside a jacket, along with motorcycle riding gear, according to the statement. The person reportedly told officers that Bowen had arrived on the motorcycle and left the jacket at the house.

After being advised of his Miranda rights, Bowen admitted to deputies that the heroin was his, according to the statement. He also reportedly said he was given the motorcycle.

Deputies also reportedly located $1,050 in small bills in Bowen’s wallet.

At the jail, according to the statement, Bowen “stated he might have a little bit of heroin in his underwear,” which was found during a strip search.

Deputies removed and weighed 14.4 grams of heroin from the red container and estimated there was another 1.5 to 2 grams they couldn’t get out. The small baggie found in Bowen’s underwear reportedly had an additional half gram, and substances in both the container and baggie field-tested positive for suspected heroin.

According to court records, Bowen already was facing charges in Whatcom County Superior Court for controlled substance possession, unlawful firearm possession and possession of a stolen firearm from 2018. He also has previous convictions for intimidating a witness, harassment, second-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and theft of a motor vehicle from between 2008 and 2013 in Whatcom County.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.