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Interagency Effort Busts Heroin Ring

Whatcom County Sheriff's OfficeWhatcom County Sheriff’s Office posted the following announcement today:

On February 25, 2015, the Whatcom Gang and Drug Task Force, (formerly known as the Northwest Regional Gang and Drug Task Force) the Sheriff’s Office, the Bellingham Police Department Special Investigations Unit and the Ferndale Police Department, completed a two-month investigation of several individuals involved in selling large amounts of Heroin in Whatcom County. During the course of the investigation, an individual known as Angel ALVARRACIN-GUTAMA was identified as the main supplier of the heroin. On four occasions, agents of the Gang and Drug Task Force purchased heroin from ALVARRACIN-GUTAMA and several of his co-conspirators. The investigation also identified many of the customers who ALVARRACIN-GUTAMA was selling to. Agents are currently working to positively confirm his identity and it is believed that he is in the USA illegally.

On Wednesday, February 25th, ALVARRACIN-GUTAMA was contacted by the Ferndale Police Department on a traffic stop. The Whatcom Gang and Drug Task Force responded to the location and he was arrested on probable cause for crimes stemming from this investigation. A female co-conspirator, Heidy DUENAS-CIFUENTES was also present in the vehicle and was arrested on probable cause for her involvement in the drug crimes. A search warrant was then served by the Task Force on ALVARRACIN-GUTAMA and DUENAS-CIFUENTES’S residence which is located in the 6100 block of Snowden Drive in Ferndale, Washington. Seized from the residence were approximately 152 grams of Heroin, approximately 2.8 grams of methamphetamine and $13,060.00 US currency. In addition, two vehicles used by ALVARRACIN-GUTAMA to deliver the Heroin, were also seized.

Angel ALVARRACIN-GUTAMA (40 year old male) was booked into the Whatcom County Jail on the investigation of 4 counts of Delivery of Heroin, Maintaining a Vehicle/Premises for Drug Trafficking, Possession of Heroin with Intent to Deliver and Possession of Methamphetamine.

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Heidy DUENAS-CIFUENTES (30 year old female) was booked into the Whatcom County Jail on the investigation of Possession of Methamphetamine, Maintaining aVehicle/Premises for Drug Trafficking and Possession of Heroin with Intent to Deliver.

ALVARRACIN-GUTAMA is a citizen of Ecuador with no legal status in the United States. DUENAS-CIFUENTES is a citizen of Columbia who is currently in proceedings regarding her legal status with the Department of Homeland Security. Additional arrests are anticipated in this investigation from several other co-conspirators.

Sheriff Elfo said: “Law enforcement and public health officials are very concerned about alarming increases in heroin overdoses and the proliferation of this drug in our community. Not only has it led to death among users, but there is a strong correlation between heroin abuse and crimes committed to support addiction. The Whatcom Gang and Drug Task Force will continue to focus on those that destroy lives in order to profit from this drug.”

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“The Sheriff’s Office has had a lot of support from citizens in reporting neighborhood drug dealing. However, sometimes it takes time to build solid cases that will result in successful prosecutions. This case demonstrates a high level of cooperation among law enforcement agencies and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.”

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