WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — 6 suspected members of a drug distribution ring operating in Whatcom and Skagit Counties were arrested and charged this week on various drug and firearm crimes.
According to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office in Seattle, Enoc Martinez Lopez, aka “Victor,” age 27, of Marysville, Washington, was the main supplier of drugs to other co-conspirators. He is charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances (including heroin and fentanyl) and distribution of fentanyl.
8 locations were searched on November 30th, including some in Whatcom County which caused Whatcom News readers to report seeing law enforcement activity. The press release said those searches resulted in the seizing a kilo of cocaine and a kilo of fentanyl powder, a “huge number” of fentanyl pills and firearms.
According to a complaint filed in US District Court in Seattle, the 6 arrested are accused of conspiring to distribute controlled substances including heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl. The complaint said surveillance underway in April uncovered evidence that led to investigations which uncovered the drug trafficking ring.
Adam Wisniewski, age 41, of Bellingham, was seen meeting with Marinez-Lopez at a casino in Whatcom County. Wisniewski was later arrested with more than 1,000 fentanyl pills, fentanyl powder and a firearm. Wisniewski was arrested a second time in June 2022 with two firearms and fentanyl pills. Wisniewski is charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, as well as two counts of illegal possession of firearms. Wisniewski has a prior felony drug possession conviction.
Manuel Garcia Munoz, age 21, of Marysville, is charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and distribution of heroin for a June 2022 sale of heroin.
Casey Paul Landis, age 39, of Bellingham, is charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute including methamphetamine and fentanyl. In October 2022, Landis left a fanny pack on a counter at the casino that was found to contain fentanyl and meth. An analysis of Landis’ phone revealed extensive drug trafficking text messages with drug supplier Martinez Lopez and with drug customers. Landis has prior felony convictions for criminal impersonation, theft burglary and forgery.
Jesse Lee Witteveen, age 37, of Maple Falls, is charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute. The criminal complaint alleges that on November 1, 2022, Witteveen tried to flee from police and tossed a bag of drugs out of his car window before he was taken into custody in rural Whatcom County. A search of Witteveen’s car and residence turned up fentanyl pills, meth, multiple cell phones, firearms parts, and ammunition. Witteveen has prior felony convictions for violation of controlled substances act, attempting to elude a police vehicle, criminal impersonation, bail jumping and theft.
Corbin Saunders, 43, of Bellingham, is charged with unlawful possession of firearms. Saunders is the owner of a Tesla that was observed leaving a known drug involved residence in Bellingham. The vehicle was stopped, and a drug dog alerted that it detected the odor of drugs in the vehicle. Using a court authorized search warrant, law enforcement recovered methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin. The Tesla also contained an AR-15 style rifle and a 9mm handgun. Saunders has prior felony convictions for possession of heroin and methamphetamine.
The investigation was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bellingham Resident Office (DEA), and included working with the Whatcom County Drug and Gang Task Force, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, the Skagit County Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington State Patrol, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force, the CBP Air & Marine Operations, the Lummi Police Department, the Everson Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.
The press release said, “Since the beginning of the investigation, law enforcement has seized: 20,000 fentanyl pills, more than 3 pounds of methamphetamine, some fentanyl powder, more than $30,000 in cash and 7 firearms.”
Local law enforcement agencies, including the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office and Drug and Gang Task Force, have been involved in similar recent investigations and arrests. These include 1 in February of 2021, another this year in July, and another in October.