Feds take over investigation after $7 million in drugs found

Sheriff’s Office says no local connection has been discovered

PORT ANGELES — Federal authorities have taken over the investigation into the early April discovery of 400 pounds of methamphetamine and cocaine worth $7 million on a Joyce-area beach after no local-area connection with the drugs was established, according to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.

“Based on the fact pattern at this time, we have no information of local involvement,” Chief Criminal Deputy Brain King said Thursday.

“It’s being investigated at the federal level with the FBI, HSI [Homeland Security Investigations] and the Border Patrol,” he said. “That certainly could change.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle is also involved, King said.

The packaged drugs were found by separate individuals in eight duffel bags April 7 and April 11 on two Clallam County beaches bordering the Strait of Juan de Fuca west of Port Angeles, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Nearly 60 pounds of methamphetamine and 2.6 pounds of cocaine were found in one duffel bag close to the water line April 7, and 342 pounds of methamphetamine in seven bags were found April 11 west of the first find on higher ground.

The discovery was made public by the Sheriff’s Office April 14 following unsuccessful surveillance to attempt to catch someone snatching the haul.

Undersheriff Ron Cameron speculated that the drugs had been dropped off for transfer to Canada.

“That’s why RCMP [the Royal Canadian Mounted Police] is involved,” he said April 15.

“Most drugs are heading north. The money goes south.

“I think there’s a high probability it was destined for Canada.”

________

Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in Crime

A power pole was knocked off its base in Sequim early Sunday morning. Repair took several hours. (Nicole Clark/Clallam County Public Utility District)
Man in custody after alleged Sequim rampage

A 34-year-old man is accused of a short but destructive… Continue reading

Sequim man sentenced for domestic violence assaults

A Sequim man has been sentenced to more than… Continue reading

Port Angeles man accused of attacking woman on ODT

A 27-year-old Port Angeles man is scheduled to be… Continue reading

Prosecution says more charges possible against Hill

Additional charges could be in the works against former… Continue reading

Two women jailed for investigation of drug sales

Emphasis patrol targeted area at Third, Laurel in Port Angeles

Pursuit, manhunt lead to arrests after driver rams deputy’s vehicle

Bond set at more than $250,000 for Jefferson County man

Sequim woman, 69, held for investigation of drug sales

A 69-year-old Sequim resident is being held in the Clallam… Continue reading

Port Angeles man sentenced for sexually abusing granddaughter

An 83-year-old Port Angeles man has been sentenced to… Continue reading

Man sentenced to 7 years for distributing drugs

Smith, 50, had prior arrests in Port Angeles in 2014 and 2021