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Joint Drug Task Force Investigation Results in Arrest of Methamphetamine Traffickers

Posted: September 11, 2009 1:44:54 PM PDT


Joint Drug Task Force Investigation

Results in Arrest of Methamphetamine Traffickers


*Northwest Regional Drug Task Force     (NWRDTF)

Skagit County Inter-local Drug Enforcement Unit   (SCIDEU)


On 09-09-09 at approximately 1300 hours narcotic detectives from NWRDTF and SCIDEU arrested two Olympia, WA men for the sale of one pound of methamphetamine.     This arrest was the culmination of a seven week investigation that was jointly investigated by the two task forces.

 NWRDTF is based out of Whatcom County and SCIDEU operates out of Skagit County. Both task forces are made up of detectives & agents from municipal, county, state and federal agencies.

 In the past seven weeks detectives made purchases of narcotics from the two defendants in Mount Vernon, WA.     Immediately following the arrest of the two, on September 9th, a search warrant was obtained and executed at an apartment in Olympia that was associated with one of the defendants.   An additional pound of methamphetamine was seized along with ½ pound of high grade marijuana, approximately $12,000.00 cash, a Beretta 9MM pistol (loaded) and a white 2003 Mitsubishi Outlander.

 The estimated street value of the two pounds of methamphetamine is $48,000.

 During the execution of the search warrant, in Olympia, the task forces were assisted by local law enforcement agencies from Thurston County.

 Arrested were 40 year old Valentin Sabalza and 19 year old Javier Salgado-Hernandez, both men are from Olympia, WA.    Both are currently in custody at the Skagit County Jail in Mount Vernon for numerous counts of Possession and Delivery of a Controlled Substance.

 Follow up investigation is continuing but at this time no further arrests are anticipated.


 *The Northwest Regional Drug Task Force (NWRDTF)  is a combined law enforcement team comprised of detectives and prosecutors from the following agencies:  Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, Whatcom County Prosecutor’s Office, Bellingham Police Department, Ferndale Police Department, Washington State Patrol, and United States Border Patrol.   The Executive Board of the Northwest Regional Drug Task force consists of Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo, Whatcom County Prosecutor David McEachran, Bellingham Police Chief Todd Ramsay, and Ferndale Police Chief Michael Knapp.  The NWRDTF is partially funded by the U.S. Department of Justice under a Justice Assistance Grant—Drug Interdiction Program.

 Lieutenant Rick Sucee

Commander, Northwest Regional Drug Task Force

(360) 815-1696


 Chief Criminal Deputy Will Reichardt

Commander, Skagit County Inter-local Drug Enforcement Unit

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