Port Angeles police, federal agents serve warrants at two businesses; no arrests made

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — City police and agents with the Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air and Marine served search warrants simultaneously at C Street Discount Tobacco and Mini Mart and Willy’s Smoke Shop on Thursday afternoon, the deputy Port Angeles police chief said Friday.

Brian Smith said police seized property that included computer hard drives and surveillance equipment from both locations during the operation at about 5:30 p.m.
C Street Discount Tobacco and Mini Mart is at 901 S. C St., Suite A, while Willy’s Smoke Shop is at 1409 E. First St.

The action was part of a investigation that has been going on for about two and a half weeks, Smith said.

No arrests were made at either location, he added.

The Port Angeles Police Department is the lead agency in the investigation, Smith said, though agents from the Department of Homeland Security are assisting.

Since the investigation is ongoing, Smith said he could not elaborate on specific suspected crimes, although he said both state and federal felonies might be involved.

“It has a variety of felony statutes,” Smith said.

Smith said drug-related offenses were not the focus of Thursday’s search warrants.

“I don’t think there’s a drug connection to this at all,” Smith said.

Police were looking also for at least one person, according to Smith, who declined to offer more details.

“There’s at least one person of interest here, and that person would know who they are,” Smith said.

“It was possible that that person would be at either place, so we were prepared for that.”

Four Port Angeles police detectives, seven patrol officers and between six and seven Office of Air and Marine agents served the warrants, though some were called off after the person or people being sought were not found in either business. Smith said.

Some Air and Marine agents stayed on to help Port Angeles Police detectives with the investigation into Thursday evening, Smith added.
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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen contributed to this story.

Last modified: July 12. 2013 5:38PM
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