PORT ANGELES — A report of a suspicious vehicle east of Port Angeles on Sunday ended with Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputies Paul Federline and Eric Morris seizing 950 grams of heroin, more than 400 grams of methamphetamine, four guns, about 20 cellphones, dozens of car keys, 100 ounces of silver and about $9,000 in cash.
It also led to the arrest of 26-year-old Port Angeles resident Gerald Neil Walkup, a convicted felon the Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team had been investigating, Detective Sgt. John Keegan said.
“It just so happened that patrol responded and acted accordingly,” he said, adding that now OPNET is taking over the investigation.
He said it is one of the largest heroin seizures in “a long time.”
Bail for Walkup was set at $200,000 during his initial appearance in Clallam County Superior Court on Monday.
He is being held in the Clallam County jail for investigation of second-degree criminal trespass, second-degree vehicle prowl, possession of heroin with intent to deliver, possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, four counts unlawful possession of a firearm and one count of possession of a sto- len firearm.
Keegan said charges will be referred to the Clallam County Prosecutor’s Office and the U.S. Attorneys Office.
Who will prosecute will be decided between local and federal prosecutors, he said.
Charges are expected to be filed when Walkup appears again in Clallam County Superior Court on Wednesday.
What surprised law enforcement as they searched the car Sunday afternoon was the size of the ball of suspected black tar heroin they found — just over two pounds and just a bit smaller than a football, according to deputies.
“I have never had a ball of heroin that big,” Federline said while searching the car.
The heroin was valued at about $95,000, Keegan said.
“That would probably be one of the first [found] in the county,” said Sgt. Randy Pieper. “This big chunk of tar [heroin], that’s huge.”
The chunk of heroin was so heavy the scales they found in the vehicle couldn’t weigh it, according to law enforcement.
Keegan said the drugs will be sent to the state crime lab to confirm they are heroin and meth and to be tested for fingerprints and DNA.
Deputies say they also found two loaded AR-15-type rifles, a loaded 9mm handgun and a stolen loaded handgun. They also found a fake gun.
In the vehicle they found $5,500 and found another $3,500 on Walkup when he was arrested, according to deputies.
The incident started when Federline and Morris responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle in the 600 block of Grand Ridge Way east of Port Angeles at about 1 p.m. Sunday.
The car was on a dirt road not frequently traveled, Federline said.
When Federline and Morris arrived, the driver of the vehicle — identified by law enforcement as Walkup — drove recklessly down Deer Park Road, Federline said.
Federline began a pursuit, but it was over about as quickly as it started, he said. Every time Federline turned a corner, the other driver was turning another.
“I used lights and sirens, but I couldn’t catch up to him,” Federline said.
Then came reports of a vehicle driving recklessly on U.S. Highway 101 westbound into Port Angeles.
Minutes later, deputies responded to a single-car wreck involving the same vehicle near the corner of East Seventh Avenue and North Bourchier Street in Gales Addition east of the Port Angeles city limit.
Deputies say they found drug paraphernalia in plain view inside the vehicle when they arrived.
After finding the hat Walkup had been wearing on the side of the road, Federline asked all available law enforcement to search Gales Addition for Walkup.
A deputy allegedly found Walkup breaking into a vehicle at a house that was recently searched by OPNET, Keegan said.
Walkup has two previous felony convictions for drug-related crimes.
Keegan said OPNET is continuing the investigation and is asking all in the area that might have caught the incident on surveillance camera to contact him by calling 360-460-6646.
Federline is asking anyone who believes their car keys might have been found to contact him by email at email@example.com.
At least one vehicle key was still attached to an ignition.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.