Money apparently missing from drug task force raid

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A significant amount of cash seized in two drug busts by the Columbia River Drug Task Force is apparently missing, Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett said in a press release Thursday.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office has been asked to investigate, he said.

The April 3 raids on Cashmere Street in Wenatchee and the 800 block of the Malaga Alcoa Highway netted what was reported to be two pounds of cocaine and more than $80,000 in cash, “but evidence packaged was found to be closer to $68,000,” Burnett said.

Ten law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation that led to the raids. Burnett serves as board chair of the drug task force.

He said he asked Thurston County to investigate “to allow for maximum transparency in determining how policies and procedures may not have been followed in accounting for cash seized.”

Brian Burnett on Overtime
Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett

“If policies and procedures were not followed during the processing of the scene, it is extremely important we find and correst those types of errors as soon as possible,” Burnett said.

Burnett said there will be no further comments from his department or the other agencies involved until the investigation is completed.

Swat teams raided the two houses and three people were subsequently arrested on multiple charges.

The Columbia River Drug Task Force is comprised of detectives from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, Wenatchee Police Department, East Wenatchee Police Department and Washington State Patrol. 

They were assisted by Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Homeland Security, Grant County INET Drug Task Force and Chelan County Public Works.