EVERETT, Wash. — According to newly released court papers, a drug-sniffing K-9 officer overdosed and almost died after coming into contact with more than 110 pounds of fentanyl.
On May 11, Drug Task Force K-9 Sully and his handler were helping the Skagit County Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit (SCIDEU) serve a search warrant at the Greens of Merrill Creek apartments in Everett when the exposure happened. Sully is trained to detect methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin, and he indicated several areas inside the apartment during the search.
Following the search, Sully was returned to his kennel inside a vehicle and was left there for about 15 minutes while his handler did another search of the apartment. When the handler came back, he noticed Sully was unresponsive and wouldn't wake up. His handler jumped into action and administered Narcan, the overdose reversal drug. Sully eventually made a full recovery.
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According to court documents, agents with SCIDEU used several confidential informants to learn about this operation. After eight months of investigation, neighbors at the Greens of Merrill Creek were shocked as a swarm of cops moved in.
"They were all in the black and white SUVs, and I'm like, 'something is going on,'" said neighbor Robert Mangum.
Included in the court documents was a picture from undercover agents that shows the ringleader of the drug operation, German Heredia-Felix, walking with his young son directly to a drug deal.
"(Drug dealers) move in here, they get somebody to move in here, they got their connections, and they all come to where that person is," noted Mangum.
By the time the raid was over, SCIDEU agents said they retrieved 110 pounds of fentanyl, plus tens of thousands of grams of meth and cocaine.
In the end, SCIDEU officers made two arrests. Both Heredia-Felix and Fernando Mercado-Castro are now facing four counts of drug and firearm offenses. According to law enforcement agents, Heredia-Felix said he started selling drugs when he immigrated from Mexico and couldn't find a job.