In only two short months Lake Stevens Police Chief Randy Celori put together a Fugitive Apprehension Team, with the goal of apprehending those who have outstanding warrants here in Lake Stevens.
Each week the LSPD receives a list of those who have not made their court dates and have been issued warrants for their arrest. Chief Celori and his team prioritize the warrants according to how serious they are.
“A lot of these are domestic violence warrants or violations of protective orders,” Celori said. “Our top priorities are those who have crimes against people.”
Since the team began ardently tracking these offenders down they have apprehended 77 suspects and 13 more have turned themselves in and rescheduled their court dates.
So far, over 23 of those have been felony warrants.
“We have really tried to focus on things that would be a real concern to the public,” Julie Ubert, Lake Stevens Police Administrative Supervisor said.
“It’s been very successful,” Celori said.
On July 13, officers were serving one of these warrants to a male suspect who had a $5,000 warrant for obstructing a police officer and also a warrant in Federal Way for reckless driving.
Officers showed up at the home on the 5200 block of 83rd Ave. NE in Marysville where the woman answering the door let them in.
“The female at the door let officers into the house because the man they were looking for was in the back room sleeping,” Celori explained.
The officers soon realized that there was more here than a suspected felon and after arresting the man they left the home to secure a search warrant to enable them to look for illegal drugs.
“There was the smell of marijuana and a firearm next to the man,” Celori said.
Once inside the home, officers started searching for marijuana and soon found that they needed another warrant to enable them to search even further.
After that warrant was received their search exposed other illegal drugs and a whole lot of cash.
“The search of the residence revealed an excess of $1 million in street value of heroin, methamphetamines and marijuana,” Celori said. “They also found $8,000 in cash.”
The people in the home were taken into custody and LSPD is continuing their investigation and will be turned over to the Prosecutor’s office for charging. The suspects are of Hispanic descent and are illegal immigrants.
The search took two days and over 10 officers and a detective.
“Quite a few officers were involved,” Ubert said. “This is our biggest drug seizure yet.”
Coincidentally, just two short weeks later, two people died in Lake Stevens, both from an overdose of heroin.
A 44-year-old man was found dead on Saturday, July 30 at 5:22 a.m. and a 22-year-old female, a 2007 LSHS graduate, was discovered on Monday, August 1. Neither of the deceased had any prior contacts for drugs with the LSPD.