Sheriff Mike Morrison reports on May 4th, 2023 at approximately 4:15 pm an overturned raft was reported on the Wenatchee River near Dryden, WA. It was reported four subjects were floating downstream separated from the raft. At the same time a separate report was made that CPR was in progress for a male who had flipped out of a raft.
Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, Fire Personnel from Chelan County Fire Districts 6 and 3, and Ambulance Crews Cascade Medical Center responded to the scene.
It was determined both incidents were related. A raft with seven occupants had overturned near Shark’s Tooth, a location on the Wenatchee River near Dryden. Some of the occupants noticed one, a 46-year-old Cashmere man was not doing well, they swam him to shore and he was not responsive. They began performing CPR on him on the shore.
When fire and medic crews arrived at approximately 4:25 pm, they continued CPR until 5:18 pm when he was pronounced dead.
The other rescuers stationed along the river in several locations until it was confirmed the remainder of the raft occupants made it out of the water, all in the Dryden area.
The water flow in the Wenatchee River is at or near record levels. The Sheriff’s Office is reminding the public to use caution when near any rivers and always use a personal flotation device. The rivers are expected to be extremely dangerous throughout the next several days.
In 2022, the Columbia River Drug Task Force began receiving and collecting information from School Resource Officers and other sources of adult drug dealers providing a variety of drugs to juvenile students in the Wenatchee and Leavenworth areas. The drugs that were being given and sold included marijuana, marijuana infused items, nicotine, alcohol, molly, and fentanyl. There was also an overdose possibly associated with these adult dealers.
With all of this information, the CRDTF made it a priority to identify, disrupt, and arrest these dealers. During the investigation, one of the suspected dealers was identified as a Blake Wallace, a 22-year-old Wenatchee resident who has gang affiliations and is known by CRDTF. Detectives discovered Wallace was using social media to advertise he was Wenatchee’s “Plug” for puff bars, nicotine/marijuana infused cartridges, and marijuana.
Detectives continued to follow up on leads and eventually were able to develop probable cause to arrest Wallace after observing him buying THC infused products and delivering them to juveniles for a profit. Detectives arrested Wallace without incident on 04-12-23.
The CRDTF would like families in the Wenatchee Valley to take notice as there are individuals who are targeting our youth for drug sales over social media. The investigation is still on going.
On 4/08/2023 at approximately 2018 hrs, Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were dispatched to a report of a motorcycle collision near milepost 1 of the Entiat River Rd.
Shortly after arriving on scene, deputies discovered one motorcycle was involved in the collision. Emergency personnel (Entiat Fire and Ballard Ambulance) reported both occupants of the motorcycle were deceased. Entiat River Road was closed while Chelan County Sheriff’s Office and WSP investigated the collision.
The preliminary investigation determined the motorcycle was the only vehicle involved and speed of the motorcycle may have been a factor in the collision.
The occupants of the motorcycle have been identified as 45 year old Charles D. Morris and 34 year old Terra D. Hughes, both residents of Chelan County.
On 03-28-2023, Chelan County Deputies were dispatched to a reported assault in the 16000 block of Chumstick Highway shortly after 7 am. According to the initial report, Abel Wilkes had “flipped out” and was shooting firearms at his residence. When he was confronted by a neighbor, Wilkes allegedly pointed a rifle at the neighbor and told him to leave him alone.
The victim left the area and contacted deputies in Leavenworth to report the assault. Due to the nature of the incident, members of the Eastern Cascades SWAT Team responded to the call, arriving about 1030 am, and attempting to make contact with Wilkes. The Eastern Cascades SWAT Team consists of officers from the Chelan and Douglas County Sheriff’s Offices, the Wenatchee and East Wenatchee Police Departments and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Wilkes was not compliant and actively resisted the officers’ attempts to place him under arrest, and a protracted standoff ensued. During the standoff, one of the SWAT Team officers discharged their duty weapon toward Wilkes. There is also evidence that Wilks discharged a firearm.
After the gunfire, Wilkes continued to resist arrest, barricading his residence against the efforts of the officers. Late in the afternoon, the Eastern Cascades SWAT Team was assisted by the Washington State Patrol SWAT Team, who eventually took over the scene around 11 pm.
Wilkes was finally taken into custody at approximately 5 am on 03-29-23. He was medically evaluated and did not have any visible injuries. He was booked into the Chelan County Jail on charges of Assault 2nd degree.
The officer has been placed on administrative leave with their agency, as is standard in these situations.
Due to the officer’s use of potentially deadly force, the incident is being investigated by the Central Basin Investigative Team. CBIT consists of officers from Adams, Grant and Kittitas Counties, the Cities of Moses Lake, Quincy, Ellensburg, Ephrata and Othello, as well as Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The victim in this case has been identified as 42 year old Adrian Antonio Norfleet from the Seattle area. Detectives believe this is an isolated incident and there is still no threat to the general public.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office is still asking for the public to call the Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 509-667-6845 if they have any information related the victim or this investigation.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office reports on March 17th, 2023 Deputies were dispatched to a report of a body discovered in the16000blk of Camp 12 road in Plain, Wa. Chelan County Sheriff’s Office detectives and The Washington State Crime Lab responded to the scene to investigate.
The deceased person is a black male, approximately 5’11” tall, medium build, and 25-40 years of age. The identity is unknown at this time. Detectives are investigating this as a homicide and asking for the public to call the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Tipline at 509-667-6845 if you have any information related to this investigation.
Due to this being an active and on-going investigation, this is the only information being released at this time.
The Columbia River Drug Task Force reports a long-term human trafficking investigation that has resulted in the service of five search warrants at various locations across the state.
In 2022, CRDTF detectives were made aware of two local massage parlors which were a front for prostitution. Over the course of the investigation, two suspects were identified as a part of this human trafficking organization and warrants were issued for their arrest. The charges include: leading organized crime, promoting prostitution, and money laundering. These individuals have been identified as 60-year-old Linhui Yan and 43-year-old Yan Yang out of Tacoma.
On 03-01-2023, CRDTF detectives led a joint operation involving the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Wenatchee Police Department, East Wenatchee Police Department, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Kennewick Police Department, South Sound Gang Task Force, Department of Corrections, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security.
Search warrants were served at the following locations: 400 block of North Mission Street in Wenatchee, 300 block of North Chelan Ave in Wenatchee, 6200 block of Clearwater in Kennewick, 3600 block of Tyler Street in Tacoma, and 2000 block of 1022 nd Street in Tacoma.
This is an ongoing investigation, additional details will be released when available.
Sheriff Morrison reports on 02/09/2023 Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Detectives served a search warrant in Leavenworth.
The warrant resulted in the arrest of 53 year old Michael J Ross. Ross was later booked into Chelan County Regional Jail on 10 counts of RCW 9.68A.050(2) Dealing in Depictions of a Minor Engage in Sexually Explicit Conduct 2nd Degree and 10-counts of RCW 9.68A.070(2) Possession of Depictions of a Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct 2nd Degree.
The search warrant and arrest were the result of a 9 month investigation done by CCSO Detectives after they received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Evidence recovered in the search is still being processed and could result in further charges. There are no other known suspects at this time.
Sheriff Morrison reports on 02/07/2023 deputies with the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a burglary at Chelan Fruit located off Howser Rd in Chelan.
Upon arrival, deputies discovered two males had broken into the location and stole an estimated $6,900 in assorted items.
Security camera footage combined with an extensive investigation, led to the arrest of 2 Chelan men, 24 year old Alan Larumbe, and 23 year old Santiago Alexis Jimenez.
Deputies were also able to recover and return most of the items taken. Additional evidence was also recovered possibly linking both males to other burglaries in the area.
They were booked into the Chelan County Regional Jail and charged with 2 counts of Burglary 2nd Degree and Theft 1st Degree.
On December 8th, 2020, Chelan County Deputies responded to a male passed out in a vehicle in Manson, WA. Deputies that arrived on scene recognized the male as Caleb Ritz, a 39 year old male from Brewster, WA. Ritz was arrested on drug related charges and search incident arrest, Ritz had a loaded revolver on his person. Ritz is a convicted felon. Ritz’s vehicle was seized for a search warrant. Deputies worked with the Columbia River Drug Task Force Detectives and a search warrant was served on the vehicle resulting in suspected Fentanyl pills, suspected heroin and suspected methamphetamine seizure. Ritz was charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the 1st degree, Possession with Intent Fentanyl, Possession with intent Methamphetamine, and Possession with Intent Heroin.
On December 9th, 2022, Detectives from the Colombia River Drug Task Force served a search warrant in the 700 block of North Grover Place in East Wenatchee, WA. The search warrant resulted in over 8,000 suspected Fentanyl pills being seized. A second search warrant was obtained for the resident of the property’s vehicle which resulted in roughly 400 more suspected Fentanyl pills along with 2 ounces of suspected methamphetamine an ounce of suspected heroin and a large amount of cash. Shawn Drummond a 36 year old resident of East Wenatchee was arrested for Possession with intent to distribute Fentanyl, Heroin and Methamphetamine.
On December 16th, 2022, Detectives with the Columbia River Drug Task Force conducted an investigation at the Red Lion Hotel in Wenatchee, WA where it was determined Fentanyl pills were being dealt out of one of the hotel rooms. Numerous known drug users were seen coming and going from the suspect’s room. A search warrant was served at the suspected hotel room which resulted in the arrest of Kasey Cooper, a 34 year old resident of East Wenatchee, WA. When Cooper was contacted in the hotel room by law enforcement he destroyed evidence by flushing suspected drugs down the toilet. Additional drugs to include suspected Fentanyl pills and suspected Methamphetamine were recovered in the hotel room. Cooper was arrested for Possession with intent for Methamphetamine and Fentanyl. He was also charged with Maintaining a Drug Property and Obstruction.
Over the course of the investigation it was determined that Shawn Drummond, Kasey Cooper, Matthew Hendricks, Caleb Ritz, and Casey McKinstry are all part of the same drug trafficking organization. CRDTF detectives are working with our Federal counter parts with Homeland Security Investigations and the AUSA of the Eastern District of Spokane to indict these suspects under federal charges where they could face longer prison time. Ritz, Drummond, and Cooper joined their counter parts currently housed at the Chelan County Regional Justice Center.
The Columbia River Drug Task Force is committed to targeting Fentanyl drug dealers in the Wenatchee Valley. There have been too many lives lost and countless lives affected by this poison being distributed in our community. CRDTF is committed to working with our Federal partners as well as the Chelan and Douglas Prosecutor’s office to hold these drug dealers accountable to the highest extent of the law.
Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett reports that on 12/16/22 at approximately 1858 hours, RIVERCOM dispatch was contacted by an unknown male who stated he was angry over an incident that happened previously to the call.
The suspect threatened a local business establishment in the downtown Leavenworth area. He stated he had rifle with a large amount of ammunition and a pipe bomb. As a precaution, safety protocols were immediately administered by deputies to local businesses open at the time, causing them to shelter in place. This included Cascade Medical Center.
Several Chelan County deputies quickly responded to the area with additional support from the Washington State Patrol. Deputies conducted a thorough sweep of the downtown area and did not find anything to corroborate any threat. A thorough investigation commenced while additional law enforcement resources remained in the area to provide a security presence. Deputies continued to look for any individual(s) that presented an obvious threat to public safety. This investigation is ongoing. The Sheriff’s Office does not believe there is any concern for the safety of the public.
All available information appeared to point to another “swatting” incident and appeared not to be credible at the time. The investigation by law enforcement spanned approximately 3 hours. Law enforcement’s security presence remained in the area for several additional hours. “Swatting” incidents have been increasing throughout the country and are a serious drain on law enforcement resources.