ARLINGTON, Wash. -- Two North Puget Sound men were indicted on multiple federal drug and firearm charges after investigators recovered more than 10,000 fentanyl pills, almost $1 million in cash, gold coins, and 29 firearms in a hidden room in Arlington.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Western District of Washington office, 39-year-old Bradley Woolard of Arlington and 30-year-old Griffin Thompson of Bellingham are accused of trafficking fentanyl disguised as fake oxycodone pills in Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom Counties.
Woolard was arrested Sept. 1 when he tried to enter the U.S. from Mexico. He's being detained in San Diego and will likely make his appearance in the Western District of Washington later this month.
Thompson was arrested Thursday, Sept. 13.
“Fentanyl is an incredibly potent and dangerous drug that has been linked to overdose deaths across the country,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “To make matters worse, the fentanyl in this case has been pressed into pills meant to look like the prescription drug oxycodone. Along with all the usual and terrible risks associated with illegal drugs, these pose the added problem of appearing to be one thing – oxycodone – when they are something altogether different, and even more dangerous.”
The investigation began July 27, when law enforcement, acting on a tip, watched Thompson travel from Bellingham to Woolard's home in Arlington.
Officers stopped him on his way back to Bellingham. During the traffic stop, a K-9 officer alerted detectives, who found 3,000 fake oxycodone pills split up into three bags. Thompson also had more than $8,000 in cash.
Investigators later searched Woolard's home, where they found more than 10,000 fentanyl pills designed to look like 30 mg oxycodone prescription pills.
The pills ultimately tested positive for fentanyl. The pills are pale blue in color and have “M” printed on one side and “30” on the other side.
More searches of Woolard's Arlington home led to the seizure of $400,000 in cash from two safes, another $270,000 from behind the water heater and tool chest in the shop area, and an additional $200,000 hidden in the dishwasher.
They also found $110,000 in cash that had been hidden behind drywall in the house, along with jars of gold coins. A hidden room discovered in the house housed 29 firearms ranging from handguns to assault rifles, including three silencers. The room also contained a large amount of ammunition.
Woolard is a felon who was convicted in Island County in 2004 for use of a building for unlawful drug activity.
Conspiracy and possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute is punishable by a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison and up to life in prison. Being a felon in possession of a firearm is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is punishable by a mandatory minimum five- year prison sentence, in addition to the sentence for the drug trafficking activity.