OLYMPIA – Detectives with the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force seized more than four pounds of suspected methamphetamine and $71,000 in cash after executing two search warrants Tuesday – one at a residence in the 900 block of Garfield Street East in Tenino, the other in the 8500 block of Steilacoom Road Southeast.
Detectives arrested four people. Rogelio Pech Canche, 27, and his wife Virginia Santos-Jimenez, 28, both of the 900 block of Garfield Street in Tenino, were arrested on suspicion of unlawful distribution of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and maintaining a dwelling for drug purposes.
Leobardo Santos Pioquinto, 31, and Marta Garcia Vasquez, 28, also were arrested on suspicion of unlawful possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.
All four suspects had detainers placed on them by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service, meaning they will remain in custody even if they make bail, pending an immigration hearing. Canche and Pioquinto were held on $750,000 bail, Santos-Jimenez on $650,000 bail and Vasquez on $450,000 bail.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Toynbee said during a bail hearing Wednesday that Pioquinto has numerous felony drug convictions and has been deported from the United States three times.
During Tuesday’s bust, two children living in the residences were placed in protective custody.
The street value of the methamphetamine seized is roughly $180,000, court papers state. Four cars and the two homes that were searched were seized by law enforcement, according to a news release.
Tuesday’s bust was the result of a two-month investigation by the task force, along with Tenino police and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
During the investigation, confidential informants used approximately $3,200 in task force funds to purchase methamphetamine, court papers state. On two of those occasions, the informant wore a hidden recording device, and the transactions were recorded.