Court report

The following are criminal cases heard recently in Skagit County Superior Court:

ROBBERY, POSSESSION OF STOLEN FIREARMS

A 21-year-old Oak Harbor man is facing additional charges in relation to an August robbery in Burlington.

Daniel Alan Vincent Whorten was charged Aug. 30 with first-degree assault with a firearm or deadly weapon and first-degree robbery. On Sept. 1, he was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.

He now faces an additional seven charges, including several for possession of stolen firearms and possession of counterfeit substances.

According to court documents, Wharton and another man, 30-year-old Robert Thomas Pierce, of Burlington, were in a vehicle Aug. 29 in Burlington when Pierce, the alleged driver, intentionally pulled in front of another vehicle, causing that driver to crash into him.

The two men allegedly then chased and robbed the man in the other vehicle, whom they knew, and Whorten allegedly fired a gun in the victim’s direction.

In the days that followed, Whorten was arrested outside a store in Burlington. At the time of his arrest, he allegedly had a gun in his pants leg, documents state. The gun allegedly found on Whorten had been one of several reported stolen in a burglary the day before, documents state.

Also in Whorten’s pants, police allegedly found a bag that contained approximately 20 pills, which police believe to be counterfeit and actually contain fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.

Between Pierce, who also had charges added this week, and Whorten, seven stolen firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition were allegedly found.

With the new charges against Whorten, prosecutors asked for his bail to be raised from $75,000 to $250,000, and Judge Tom Verge did so.

DRUGS

A 24-year-old Skagit County man has been charged for allegedly distributing drugs, including counterfeit ones, in the county.

Cristian Lopez-Quezada pleaded not guilty Thursday to six drug delivery charges, one count of maintaining a vehicle or premises for drug trafficking, and one count of possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance.

The latter charge carries a potential sentencing enhancement because Lopez-Quezada’s alleged crimes occurred within a school zone.

According to court documents, members of law enforcement were able to purchase drugs from Lopez-Quezada multiple times in August, and each time were able to procure counterfeit drugs that likely contain fentanyl.

After serving a search warrant on Lopez-Quezada’s residence, law enforcement allegedly located similar pills throughout the house, court reports state.

In a court hearing Thursday, Lopez-Quezada pleaded not guilty to all charges. He is being held in the Skagit County Community Justice Center on $100,000 bail.

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141, kwanielista@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kera_SVH, facebook.com/KeraReports

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