Drug house investigation results in arrest

The Island County Sheriff’s Office focus on “drug houses” on South Whidbey has paid off.

The strategy has led to multiple arrests this year, including that of a man who was allegedly supplying heroin to a problem house in the Sun Vista Circle neighborhood of Clinton, court documents say.

The house has been “highly active,” Lt. Mike Hawley wrote in a search warrant application. The owner is an elderly man who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and he has allowed “numerous transients, drug users and convicted felons” to stay at the home, the application states.

At one point the sheriff’s office served a search warrant and found 17 people inside the house, Hawley said.

The deputies observed a blue Ford Taurus belonging to Joseph B. Hawkins, 42, visit the house on a near daily basis, a police report states.

A woman who had been temporarily staying at the house agreed to work with police in solving crimes associated with people living at the house. She said she witnessed drug deals and knew details about felony-level thefts and burglaries allegedly committed by the residents, the police report states.

Based on the information from the witness, Hawley applied for a search warrant for Hawkins’ car.

Deputies served a separate search warrant on the house July 6. Hawkins drove up in his car while the deputies were there and Hawley had his car impounded.

Deputies searched the car after the search warrant was granted and found two ounces of suspected meth, seven grams of suspected heroin and some marijuana, the police report says.

Prosecutors charged Hawkins in Island County Superior Court July 13 with possession of meth with intent to deliver. If convicted of the crime, he could face from five to 10 years in prison under the standard sentencing range.

Hawley said a recent arrest and prosecution of two men for the alleged theft of copper wires was also associated with the Sun Vista Circle house.

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