Law enforcement seized about 30 pounds of meth from a 38-year-old Seatac man accused of trying to sell the drugs in Tumwater.
The Thurston County Narcotics Task Force arrested Hector Diaz Bucio during a sting operation and booked him into the county jail on Friday, April 2. He has since been released after posting $15,000 bail on Tuesday.
Commissioner Nate Kortokrax set the bail amount during Diaz Bucio's preliminary appearance in Superior Court on Monday. Kortokrax found probable cause for conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
A probable cause statement describes law enforcement's investigation into the meth deal that led to Diaz Bucio's arrest.
On Thursday, April 1, a confidential source notified the Narcotics Task Force and Homeland Security Investigations that they were in contact with a man willing to sell 23-30 pounds of meth, according to the statement.
The task force advised the source to set up a meeting in the Olympia area. After a safety briefing, the primary source and a secondary source met with the contact near the Tumwater Home Depot, the statement read.
At 2:47 p.m., detectives saw a grey 2015 Volkswagen Jetta park next to their source. Three individuals were in the Jetta but only one person negotiated the meth sale, according to the statement.
The contact initially asked for $4,000 per pound of meth but the task force's source negotiated the price down to $2,500 per pound and agreed to purchase 30 pounds for $75,000, the statement read.
The person who negotiated the sale went by the name "Martin," according to the statement. A review of the phone number he used indicated it belonged to someone from Mercer Island.
However, he reportedly offered a secondary number during the negotiation that detectives found belonged to a "Luke Skywalker."
The three individuals left in the Jetta at about 3 p.m. after agreeing to meet again the next day for the sale, the statement read.
Detectives followed the Jetta to Burien where one person was dropped off, according to the statement. From there, they continued to surveil the Jetta until it reached an address in Renton.
On Friday, the task force's source met with "Martin" near the Tumwater Home Depot again. He reportedly arrived in a white pickup, but detectives observed the Jetta at the lot as well, according to the statement.
From there, the white pickup and the source drove to the Tumwater Comfort Inn where "Martin" presented the 30 pounds of meth. Arrest teams quickly moved to arrest "Martin" who they later identified as Diaz Bucio.
At the same time, a special agent with the task force detained the driver of the Jetta. According to the statement, the driver of the Jetta appeared to be holding his phone during the sale and attempted to drive away just after Diaz Bucio was arrested.
Diaz Bucio allegedly admitted to bringing 30 pounds of "ice" to the hotel and agreeing to $2,500 per pound, the statement read. Meanwhile, the driver of the Jetta allegedly told the task force he was merely there to help his friend buy a motorcycle.
Both Diaz Bucio and the driver of the Jetta were booked into Thurston County jail on suspicion of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
However, Superior Court Commissioner Kortokrax ordered the driver of the Jetta be released without conditions on Monday, according to court records.
Superior Court Judge James Dixon granted a search warrant on both the Jetta and the white pickup Friday afternoon, according to the statement. Investigators found nothing to seize from the Jetta but allegedly located 30 Ziploc bags of a white crystal substance in the pickup.
A field test of one bag confirmed it contained one pound of meth, the statement read, and all 30 bags collectively weighed about 30 pounds. Detectives estimated this amount of meth to be worth about $150,000 on the street.
Diaz Bucio is due back in court on April 20 for his arraignment hearing.