Blaine woman among 12 arrested in connection of alleged drug trafficking ring

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A Blaine woman was among 12 arrested in connection with an alleged drug trafficking organization that was running large amounts of fentanyl and other drugs into Whatcom County.

On July 25-26, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) arrested 12 people and seized approximately 34 firearms, 50,000 fentanyl pills, seven kilograms of fentanyl powder, two pounds of methamphetamine and three ounces of cocaine, WCSO spokesperson Deb Slater announced in a July 27 press release. The joint investigation found the network had been trafficking fentanyl powder and other drugs primarily into Whatcom County. 

Eleven of the defendants were arrested in Washington and one was arrested in Fresno, California.

Amanda Lawrence, 44, of Blaine, was arrested on state drug charges along with eight others from Bellingham and Ferndale. Those include: Loren Walker, 54, of Bellingham; William Fife, 67, of Bellingham; Brian Corbett, 50, of Bellingham; Steven Binschus, 58, of Bellingham; Christina Hein, 44, of Bellingham; Yvette Bailey, 54, of Ferndale; Mary Bohannan, 58, of Bellingham; and Gregory Hite, 62, of Bellingham.

Two defendants, Wayne Lankhaar and Yolanda Reyes, face federal charges of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute, according to federal court documents. Another defendant was arrested on suspicion of illegal possession of a firearm.

Agents also seized a vehicle, $58,000 and an improvised explosive device during the arrests, according to the release.

Lawrence had multiple prior convictions that include unlawful possession of a controlled substance, theft, second-degree trafficking of stolen property, forgery and first-degree robbery.

The arrests were a collaborative effort between WCSO, Washington State Patrol, Bellingham Police Department, Mount Vernon Police Department, Ferndale Police Department, Skagit County Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit, Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Whatcom County Health Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the release said.

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