Two North Sound Men Indicted for Trafficking Fentanyl
Two men were charged today in a multi-count indictment for their scheme to traffic fentanyl disguised as fake oxycodone pills in Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom Counties, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. BRADLEY WOOLARD, 39, of Arlington is charged in all five counts of the indictment alleging drug distribution and illegal firearms possession. GRIFFIN THOMPSON, 30, of Bellingham is charged in two of the counts: conspiracy and possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute. THOMPSON was arrested last night and will appear in U.S. District Court at 2:00 today. WOOLARD was arrested as he attempted to cross into the U.S. from Mexico on September 1, 2018. He remains in custody in San Diego and will likely make his appearance in the Western District of Washington later this month.
“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.”
According to records filed in the case, on July 27, 2018, acting on a tip, law enforcement observed THOMPSON as he traveled from Bellingham to WOOLARD’s Arlington home. After THOMPSON spent a short time at the house, he began the return drive to Bellingham. After a traffic stop, a drug detection dog alerted to THOMPSON’s car and investigators found three bags each containing 1,000 fake oxycodone pills. THOMPSON also had more than $8,000 in cash.
Law enforcement obtained multiple court-authorized search warrants for WOOLARD’s home. On July 28, 2018, they found more than 10,000 fentanyl pills designed to look like 30 mg oxycodone prescription narcotic. 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. Over the course of multiple searches law enforcement seized $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. Additional searches turned up $110,000 in cash that had been hidden behind drywall in the house, along with jars of gold coins. Investigators also discovered a hidden room containing 29 firearms ranging from handguns to assault rifles, including three silencers. The room also contained a large amount of ammunition.
Based on the seized firearms, WOOLARD is charged with being a felon in possession of firearms due to his 2004 felony conviction in Island County for use of a building for unlawful drug activity. He is also charged with possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Conspiracy and possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute is punishable by a mandatory minimum ten years in prison and up to life in prison. Being a felon in possession of a firearm is punishable by up to ten years in prison. Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is punishable by a mandatory minimum five- year prison sentence that is in addition to the sentence for the drug trafficking activity.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The investigation is being led by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with assistance from the Snohomish Regional Drug and Gang Task Force (SRDGTF) and the Whatcom County Drug and Gang Task Force.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kate Vaughan and Karyn Johnson.
WE WANT TO THANK ALL THE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE DEDICATED THEIR LIVES TO KEEPING OUR COUNTRY SAFE.