By Natalie Johnson / firstname.lastname@example.org
An investigation that began early this year focused on a possible “large-scale heroin dealer” operating in Lewis County led to the arrest of four suspects in Centralia on drug charges Wednesday.
Christian D. Brown, 30, of Centralia, was charged Thursday with possession of heroin with intent to deliver and possession of methamphetamine.
Chantal B. Zelmer, 24, of Kelso, was charged with possession of heroin with intent to deliver and possession of methamphetamine.
Superior Court Judge Joely O’Rourke imposed $100,000 bail for each, based on their criminal history and the allegations in the case.
“$100,000 was what I had in my mind before you said anything,” O’Rourke said after a request for that amount for Zelmer’s bail from the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office.
Tyler V. Geist, 31, of Centralia, was charged with delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance. He was granted $25,000 bail.
Daryl P. McCrory, 27, of Centralia, was charged with two counts of delivery of heroin, possession of heroin with intent to deliver and possession of methamphetamine.
McCrory was also scheduled to make his first appearance in Superior Court Thursday, but reportedly refused to come to court at his scheduled time along with the other three suspects.
“I was surprised to hear he was refusing to come to court,” said defense attorney Rachael Tiller, representing the defendants at their first hearing. “He appeared ill when I did meet with him.”
His preliminary hearing was rescheduled to Friday.
According to court documents, investigators with the Lewis County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team, made up of members of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and Centralia and Chehalis police departments, began to believe Brown was dealing heroin on a large scale in Lewis County.
Between February and April, JNET investigators used confidential informants to conduct two controlled buys of heroin from McCrory. They also conducted a controlled buy with Geist, and believed that the two suspects were associated with each other.
On Wednesday, officers contacted Geist and McCrory together and detained them in a parking lot in Centralia. According to court documents, McCrory had what appeared to be heroin all over his hands, and was suspected to be under the influence of the drug.
Detectives searched McCrory’s possessions and found more than 10 grams of heroin.
While officers were talking to Geist and McCrory, Brown’s vehicle reportedly arrived in the immediate area. Officers saw Brown and Zelmer leave the vehicle and walk toward one of the nearby stores, according to court documents.
Zelmer was placed under arrest for an outstanding state Department of Corrections warrant. According to court documents, Zelmer’s purse contained methamphetamine, other drugs and $1,060 in cash. She also had reportedly hidden a package of heroin in her clothing.
She told officers she and Brown had been selling heroin in the area, according to court documents.
Police also found two-way radios in both Brown and Geist’s vehicles and drugs and a “drug ledger” in Brown’s vehicle.