The search of a stolen vehicle turned into a six-figure drug bust after Renton police discovered and seized narcotics and cash valued at approximately $412,000 in total.
Officers dispatched to an occupied stolen vehicle on March 14 using the tracking of a security system subscription service, according to a news release from the department. After the security service disabled the vehicle, officers arrested the occupants without incident.
The registered owner of the stolen vehicle consented to a search of the vehicle, revealing multiple baggies of narcotics — a level of possession with intent to sell, according to the department.
The discovery led to the notification of narcotics investigators from the department’s Special Enforcement Team to take control of the investigation, according to the department. Investigators obtained a search warrant for the vehicle — seizing $360,174 in cash and approximately $52,188 in methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl pills and powder, and amphetamines in the search, with 101 packages of substances in total.
The department tied the suspects involved in the March 14 investigation to another drug seizure in December 2022 in Renton. The previous incident resulted in the search of a subject and search warrant of a vehicle resulting in the seizure of three stolen handguns, $35,513 in cash and a variety of narcotics including methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, amphetamines and oxycodone.
Investigation into both the March 14 and December 2022 incidents continues.
As of 2023, Renton police have opened 10 narcotics investigations, according to the department. In 2022, Renton police opened 45 narcotics cases, with investigations likely ongoing.
Narcotics investigations have the potential to last a long time, with “one bust [leading] to another,” said Sandra Havlik, the department’s public information officer.
The December 2022 and March 14 busts serve as an example of a smaller bust leading to a “bigger successful bust,” Havlik said.