PORT ANGELES — Two men arrested for investigation of drug sales could face additional charges of animal cruelty after detectives found them with puppies that had had their jaws closed with electrical tape and had opioids in their systems.
Detectives said they also found 229.9 grams of heroin, 26.3 grams of methamphetamine, 36 pills stamped M-30 (likely to contain fentanyl), three syringes loaded with heroin, six Suboxone strips, 14 OxyContin pills, 10 Alprazolam pills, and a loaded .45 caliber handgun in the car on Wednesday.
Leroy Hampton, 40, of Forks, was arrested for investigation of two counts of delivery of a controlled substance (heroin), possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and unlawful possession of a firearm. He remained in the Clallam County jail on Thursday on $150,000 bond.
Robert McAtee, 25, of Port Angeles was arrested for investigation of two counts of delivery of a controlled substance (heroin). He remained in the Clallam County jail on Thursday on $2,500 bond.
In January, on two occasions, the Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team (OPNET) used a confidential informant to purchase 9.5 grams of heroin from McAtee, detectives said.
Detectives said that during the purchases of heroin from McAtee, they learned that he was obtaining the heroin from Hampton, they said in a press release issued Thursday evening.
The arrest was made after Port Angeles Police Department patrol unit conduct a traffic stop on Hampton’s vehicle in the Goodwill Store parking lot in Port Angeles, detectives said.
Hampton was arrested and a search warrant was obtained by detectives to search his vehicle.
Sgt. Josh Powless found two puppies in the back seat of the vehicle, which also contained drugs and a gun, detectives said.
Both of the puppies were found with what appeared to be electrical tape bound around their muzzles, clamping their mouths shut, the release said.
The puppies were photographed and the tape was removed.
Animal Control Deputy Tracey Kellas was called to take custody of the puppies for safekeeping. The puppies are estimated to be about 10 weeks old.
During a subsequent examination of the puppies by a veterinarian, a urinalysis was conducted on both puppies. The results of the urinalysis revealed the presence of opioids in their system, the release said.
An investigation into potential charges of animal cruelty is ongoing.
Hampton is awaiting trial on drug and stolen vehicle charges after he bailed out Nov. 10, the release said.
OPNET is a multi-agency team dedicated to the enforcement of narcotics laws in Clallam and Jefferson counties. Agencies dedicating investigators to the team include the Clallam and Jefferson county sheriff’s offices; Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Townsend police departments; State Patrol; and U.S. Border Patrol..