OPNET: Dealers beware

A year-long investigation nears completion; police making arrests

PORT ANGELES — The Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team put Clallam County drug dealers on notice Wednesday that a year-long investigation is nearly complete and police are now making arrests.

Investigators last week arrested Meshann Lee Clark, 31, and Gabriel Thomas Oueilhe, 47, who are accused of making multiple deliveries of controlled substances during a several-months-long investigation.

“These arrests represent only the beginning of many arrests anticipated by OPNET in the coming weeks,” the drug task force said in a press release.

“If you have sold controlled substances in Clallam County, especially heroin and methamphetamine in the last year, you may be receiving a visit from detectives very soon.”

Police said they used confidential informants to purchase methamphetamine and heroin from Clark and Oueilhe and that their arrests are related to the search warrant served last Thursday on the 100 block of Avis Street in Port Angeles.

Arrests made

During service of that warrant investigators arrested Ronald Dean Kuchler, 60, for investigation of three counts of delivery of methamphetamine.

They also arrested Matthew Ronald Kelly Franke, 32, for investigation of violation of a domestic violence no-contact order, Miranda Lee Niehaus, 43, on a Department of Corrections warrant and Nitawsha Lee Towner, 23, for investigation of possession of meth and heroin.

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.

Clark, Oueilhe, Franke and Niehaus remained in the Clallam County jail Wednesday. Kuchler was released from jail.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsula dailynews.com.

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