OPNET arrests four and reportedly discovers heroin, meth, Suboxone

PORT ANGELES — Charges are expected to be filed Wednesday after detectives with Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team arrested four people and reported finding illegal drugs with an estimated street value of $1,250.

Ronald Dean Kuchler, 60, has been released from the Clallam County jail after a first appearance in court, at which bail was set, Friday. He was arrested for investigation of three counts of delivery of a controlled substance-methamphetamine, according to an Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team (OPNET) press release.

Nitawsha Lee Towner, 23, also was no longer in jail after the hearing. She had been arrested for investigation of possession of controlled substances-methamphetamine and heroin.

Kuchler’s son, Matthew Ronald Kelly Franke, 32, remained in the jail Saturday on $10,000 bail after he was arrested for investigation of felony violation of a domestic violence no-contact order.

No bail was set for Miranda Lee Niehaus, 43, who was arrested on a Department of Corrections failure to report warrant, the press release said, adding that her original conviction was for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.

The detectives with OPNET served a search warrant at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday at a residence in the 100 block of Avis Street in Port Angeles.

They developed probable cause for the issuance of the warrant following a year-long investigation into alleged sales of controlled substances at the residence, they said, adding that over the course of the investigation, they used confidential informants to purchase methamphetamine from Kuchler.

A total of 4.9 grams of heroin, 8.3 grams of methamphetamine and 10 Suboxone strips were found at the residence, detectives said.

A 9mm handgun, scales, packaging materials to hold controlled substances and two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) also were found there, detectives said. The State Patrol Bomb Squad took possession of the IEDs.

OPNET detectives were assisted by officers from the Clallam and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Lower Elwha Tribal Police, U.S. Border Patrol, Olympic National Park, State Patrol and state Department of Corrections.

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