PORT ANGELES — Members of the Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team and State Patrol SWAT team raided a home east of Port Angeles on Thursday, effectively shutting down what they called the “epicenter” of property crime on North Larch Avenue, officials said.
The SWAT team arrived at a home on North Larch Avenue at about 6 a.m. in an armored vehicle, announced over a loudspeaker that law enforcement were serving a warrant and threw a stun grenade.
Sgt. Tom Kuch of Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team (OPNET) said law enforcement quickly detained four people inside — arresting two — without incident and began to search the single-wide trailer.
“It’s hard to say the quantity that they were dealing out of here, but it was a busy place,” he said. “It was kind of like a drug dealer’s version of 7-Eleven.”
Officials at the scene said they recovered a Glock handgun, 6 grams of heroin valued at $100 each and about $300 from the house.
The search was stalled after investigators found a pipe bomb on the property. They waited for the State Patrol Bomb Squad to clear the scene before continuing the search.
Justin Cody Bricker, 29, was booked into the Clallam County jail for investigation of unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and two counts of possession of a controlled substance in a public place.
Another person was arrested on multiple felony and misdemeanor warrants.
Brian King, Clallam County Sheriff’s chief criminal deputy, said OPNET had been investigating the case for several months after hearing complaints from neighbors and seeing an increase in property crime in the area.
He said OPNET had done multiple controlled buys, purchasing drugs from Bricker. He was unable to cite specifics about the buys.
A neighbor in the area, who asked not to be identified, said that because of the increased activity at that home she has been forced to lock her doors.
She said nothing had been stolen from her property, but she was appreciative of OPNET raiding the home.
“We had a lot of information from neighbors … and a whole lot of complaints about short stay traffic that was occurring here,” King said. “It was clearly a problem house and a problem location that needed to be addressed.”
King said the SWAT team was used because law enforcement had suspicions of multiple firearms in the home.
He said the Sheriff’s Office and OPNET uses mapping software to track property crime and the home they raided Thursday appeared to be the “epicenter” of some recent crimes.
King said Thursday afternoon that investigators were continuing to interview people at the house.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].