Warrant roundup nets unexpected drugs, authorities say

Marie Haller

Marie Haller

PORT ANGELES — At least 20 people were arrested Tuesday and Wednesday in an arrest-warrant roundup in the Port Angeles area, unexpectedly netting a woman law enforcement said had more than $67,000 worth of heroin and methamphetamine in her apartment.

Bail of $50,000 was set Wednesday for Marie Joan Haller, 30, a West Lauridsen Boulevard resident who had her next Clallam County Superior Court hearing set for 9 a.m. Friday, May 31.

Haller was arrested Tuesday and booked into the county jail for investigation of possession of heroin and methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

She and Matthew Steve Ennen, 29 — who was arrested for investigation of the same charge — were apprehended at her apartment in a sweep by the Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team (OPNET) and the U.S. Marshals Service.

The warrant team included members of OPNET, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Port Angeles Police Department, probation officers from the state Department of Corrections (DOC), and U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Ennen jumped out of a second-floor apartment window, unsuccessfully evading arrest, authorities said.

Those arrested included 11 people wanted on state Department of Corrections custody warrants. Two were misdemeanor warrants.

Most of those arrested were incarcerated at the Clallam County jail, with at least one at the Forks jail, Port Angeles Police Department Detective Sgt. Tom Kuch, OPNET narcotics team supervisor, said late Wednesday afternoon.

The multi-agency effort was dubbed Operation Spring Cleaning. It arrested 13 people Tuesday and at least seven Wednesday, Kuch said. It was led by the Western District of Washington Violent Offender Task Force.

“One team is still out hunting,” Kuch said at about 4 p.m. about the roundup that was expected to end Wednesday.

DOC officers found heroin, methamphetamine, digital scales and drug paraphernalia in Ennen’s backpack at Haller’s residence, Kuch said.

Most of the drugs were in a safe in Haller’s apartment, Kuch said.

Ennen was wanted by DOC and had been the subject of an OPNET investigation for about six months, authorities said.

He had reported to DOC that he would be at Haller’s address.

The warrant team arrived Tuesday at the address, set up a perimeter, and knocked and announced at the front door of the second floor apartment, Kuch said.

Before anyone answered, Ennen jumped from the second-floor back window, where OPNET detectives were waiting, Kuch said. Ennen landed on grass and was immediately handcuffed and taken into custody without further incident.

A search of Haller’s apartment produced drug paraphernalia, a digital scale, 474 grams of heroin, or just over a pound; 83.79 grams of methamphetamine, or almost 3 ounces; and $13,325 in cash, according to Haller’s probable cause statement.

The estimated potential street value of the seized drugs is $67,629, Kuch said.

Kuch said there were notes containing information on drug deals at the apartment.

“We did find notes of drug transactions, a lot of little tiny note-size pieces of paper lying around with that kind of information,” Kuch said.

Haller told authorities she sells drugs to support herself and her drug habit because she has not had a job for five months, according to the probable cause statement.

“Haller admitted she and Ennen ‘work’ together in the drug sales,” according to the statement.

As a condition of her release if she makes bail, Judge Brent Basden said Haller cannot have contact with Ennen.

“I’m not supposed to have him there anyway,” she told Basden.

“He’s not on my lease.”

County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols unsuccessfully argued for $250,000 bail.

“She sells drugs to support herself and her drug habit,” he said.

“There’s a lot of money being made here.”

Nichols said Haller had seven prior drug convictions and a history of failure to appear for court hearings.

“This is a person who is no stranger to the criminal justice system,” Nichols said.

Another man at the Lauridsen Boulevard residence rented by Haller was arrested on a warrant for driving while his license suspended and was booked into the jail on the warrant.

He was scheduled for a first appearance on charges of third-degree driving while license suspended and hit-and-run unattended, according to the jail roster.

The custody warrants of the others arrested in the sweep and booked into the county jail were for drug and other convictions.

Not all were for crimes committed in Clallam County.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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