The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office said today, August 12th, they arrested 3 people for suspicion of manslaughter in the first degree after investigations linked them to the death of a 31-year-old Ferndale man back in March.
According today’s new release, the 31-year-old man was found dead at his residence in the 1000 block of Slater Road on March 9th. An autopsy confirmed death was due to an accidental overdose of counterfeit fentanyl-laced prescription pills.
Detectives with the Whatcom Gang and Drug Task Force (WGDTF) conducted an investigation which linked 3 people to the delivery of the counterfeit pills on the evening of March 8th according to today’s announcement.
The 3 identified in the news release were:
- Brezeddric A. Jamerson (age 51) of Bellingham
- Sheila R. Johnson (age 54) of Ferndale
- Kim M. Ribble (age 55) of Bellingham
On August 11th, detectives located Jamerson and Johnson in a Ferndale hotel where they were arrested without incident. Detectives located approximately 100 of the counterfeit fentanyl-laced pills and over $2000 in their hotel room. Jamerson admitted ownership of the pills.
On August 12th, detectives arrested Ribble at her residence.
All 3 were booked into Whatcom County Jail charged with suspicion of manslaughter in the first degree and controlled substance homicide and Jamerson faces an additional charge of suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
According to Whatcom County Jail records, Jamerson was being held pending $200,000 bail, Johnson and Ribble are being held without bail.
Back on September 30, 2019, Nathan Allen Cultee Jr was booked into the Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of homicide and Tiffany Lynn Rowe-Cultee was booked the next day on suspicion of homicide and criminal accomplice after they were linked to the death of a woman who also died after ingesting fentanyl-laced pills. Tony Lee Williams of Bellingham was later charged in federal court with 2 drug crimes after investigators linked the pills to him.
Today from Seattle, US Attorney Brian Moran said in a press release that 12 members of a drug trafficking group alleged to have distributed fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine throughout the Puget Sound region were arrested today following a year-long investigation and two grand jury indictments. Juan Hernandez-Hernandez, age 54, of Bellingham, was identified as 1 of the 12. The group is suspected of trafficking activities from Mexico, through California and Oregon, and into the north Puget Sound region. They will make appearances in US District Court for the Western District of Washington today and tomorrow.