CENTRALIA – An estimated $1.3 million dollars of street value illicit drugs have been confiscated by the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team in Lewis County so far in 2021. Centralia Police Commander Andy Caldwell reports that since January this year approximately 35 pounds of heroin, 25 pounds of methamphetamine, 18 pounds of cocaine and over 100,000 pills suspected to contain the often-times fatal drug fentanyl, has been taken off the streets. This is the result of 40 search and seizures and the arrest of 37 suspects who now face state and federal charges. Included in the recent arrests are a Tacoma couple, 34-year old Jaymes Gallagher and 28-year old Brittany Chipman, who have been sentenced to 7 and five and a half years, respectively for having transported as much as 30 pounds of methamphetamine each week from California to Western Washington. The Drug Enforcement Administration says Gallagher dropped some of the drug off in Thurston County. Commander Caldwell says local JNET officers assisted in the investigation and eventual arrest of the couple. Illegal drug distribution and use is an ongoing problem in Lewis County, with methamphetamine the primary cause this year of overdose deaths.  Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod reported yesterday, 17 fatal overdoses so far this year in the county and maybe an 18th after toxicology tests are completed. Commander Caldwell says the JNET investigations have also led to the recovery of tens of thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise that often is traded to drug dealers for drugs.  

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