The Skagit County Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit was created to disrupt, dismantle and effectively prosecute criminal organizations such as gangs, drug traffickers and other high- to mid-level criminal elements anywhere within Skagit County.

SCIDEU also works closely with other agencies and units in surrounding counties with similar responsibilities.

The drug task force is a mix of deputies and local police officers assigned to the unit to work exclusively to combat illegal drug activity in Skagit County. The task force conducts complex joint investigations with surrounding counties, city agencies, and state and federal agencies.

This unit achieves its goals through covert surveillance, undercover drug buys and in-depth investigations based on intelligence gained from the community. Many cases the task force investigates come from community members who have a strong interest in keeping their neighborhoods safe and free of illegal drug activity. Some of the tips they receive:

n An unusual amount of vehicle traffic to a residence.

n Stop-and-go vehicles at a residence where cars often are left running as the occupants go inside and stay for a very short time.

n An unusual number of cars at a residence that are parked all over the property and the appearance of many people living there.

Through an ongoing effort with our partner agencies, we’ve aligned the needs of the agencies and communities we work in with the operational output of the unit.

The task force has evolved and proven to be more than an illicit drug investigations team by providing assistance in requests for personal and property crimes including homicide investigations, kidnappings and fugitive arrests.

The task force is an undercover unit that works with all local deputies and officers to develop crime trends and where drug activity may be occurring.

On a recent case, patrol deputies were given information on where a person in a specific neighborhood was selling pills.

The task force developed enough information to obtain a search warrant for the residence, and continued with that case that took them all the way to Oregon on drug deals. With a tip from an alert community member, the task force was able to seize a large amount of fentanyl-laced pills.

If you have any information that leads you to believe someone in your neighborhood may be involved in drug activity, you can call the drug task force tip line at 360-848-1165.

— Chad Clark is undersheriff of the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office. Send questions to scsocommunity@co.skagit.wa.us.

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