A death caused by a suspected drug overdose led to several arrests by Aberdeen and Hoquiam police Tuesday, according to Hoquiam Police Deputy Chief Joe Strong.
Hoquiam police officers and firefighters responded to a report of a possible overdose in the 2800 block of Simpson Avenue early Tuesday afternoon. Medics performed CPR on a 33-year-old Aberdeen resident but she was pronounced dead at Grays Harbor Community Hospital.
Hoquiam detectives were called to the scene and learned the victim had been given pills by the resident, a 45-year-old female. Numerous other pills were seized from the residence, said Strong. The female resident was taken into custody for investigation of Controlled Substance Homicide.
Further investigation into the source of the illicit pills led detectives to a residence in the 400 block of West First Street in Aberdeen where a search warrant was served today by the Hoquiam and Aberdeen Police departments, with assistance from the Grays Harbor County Drug Task Force, said Strong. During a search of that residence, detectives located a large amount of illicit pills, methamphetamine, over $5,600 in cash, and other evidence of drug sales. The 33-year-old resident was taken into custody for numerous drug offenses.
Once the ongoing investigation is completed, the case will be forwarded to the Grays Harbor County Prosecutor’s Office for charges, said Strong.
“This case should put drug dealers on notice that every time we have an overdose death, we are going to come looking for you, because many lives are at stake,” warned Strong. “We are using every available criminal and civil tool to combat this deadly epidemic and stop these tragic losses. Local Grays Harbor law enforcement will continue to work together with one definitive goal: To put people responsible for drug deaths in jail! We will continue to aggressively pursue those who deal drugs and cause deaths in our community.”
Strong said the Hoquiam Police Department warns of the abundance of counterfeit pills on the local market.
“Although illicitly purchased pills may appear to be pharmaceutical, they are often made by organized groups using fentanyl or fentanyl analogs, then transported to distribution points in bulk for illegal sales,” he said. “These pills are crudely made, with inconsistent concentrations of fentanyl in each pill. Sadly, half of one counterfeit pill can kill you.”
Anyone struggling with addiction can call the opioid crisis line at 1- 877-586-6176.