Centralia traffic stop reveals large amount of illegal drugs

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Centralia police said they seized 100 pounds of suspected methamphetamine, 19.8 pounds of suspected fentanyl mixed with cocaine powder and approximately 340,000 suspected fentanyl pills during a traffic stop Wednesday.

Courtesy of Centralia Police Department

Centralia police say they seized more than 100 pounds of illegal drugs Wednesday during a traffic stop on Interstate 5 near Mellen Street.

A Centralia police officer initiated the arrest around 12:47 p.m. from the north side of the freeway, according to a news release. Detectives from the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team, which includes Centralia and Chehalis police, then arrived to help.

Commander Andy Caldwell told The Olympian Centralia that police stopped the vehicle based on information shared by law enforcement partners. He said a K9 narcotics dog alerted police to the presence of the drugs.

Inside the vehicle, law enforcement discovered 100 pounds of suspected methamphetamine, 19.8 pounds of suspected fentanyl mixed with cocaine powder, and approximately 340,000 suspected fentanyl pills.

The amount of drugs seized could have big implications for the wider region, Caldwell said.

“Not everything is destined for one place,” Caldwell said. “The amount of fentanyl we seized is fragmented and distributed, affecting our communities across the state. So the impact of (seizing) 340,000 pills is saving lives across the region.

Police arrested the driver of the vehicle, a 26-year-old man from Mexico, on suspicion of possession of narcotics with intent to deliver, the statement said. He was taken to the Lewis County Jail that afternoon.

Caldwell said the man cooperated with police in the traffic stop and there were no other suspects in the matter.

This story was originally published November 3, 2022 12:12 p.m.

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