Deputies Observations Lead to Search Warrant and the Recovery of Over 11,000+ Suspected Fentanyl Pills, Methamphetamine, Heroin, and Cash
Spokane Valley Deputies, assisted by Spokane Valley Investigative Unit (SVIU) Detectives, served a search warrant on a vehicle suspected of containing a large amount of fentanyl pills and other illegal drugs. During subsequent investigation after a search warrant was obtained, and probable cause was developed to charge the driver and passenger, each, with three separate felony counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute. The vehicle and over $1,100 in cash were seized pending a forfeiture hearing.
On March 9, 2023, at approximately 8:10 pm, Spokane Valley Deputy K. Bitzer, Deputy N. Giese, and Deputy C. Hayter responded to a possible drug use call at a business in the 1200 block of N. Pines Road, Spokane Valley.
Alert employees of the business reported seeing an adult male and female in a black Audi sedan in the parking lots who appeared to be using drugs.
The Deputies arrived at the location and found a black 2008 Audi A4 as described. Deputy Bitzer approached the passenger side and observed a female in the passenger seat, later identified as 31-year-old Karol A. Moss, and a male, later identified as 33-year-old Monte B. Wright, sitting in the driver’s seat. Both were slumped over with tin foil and suspected fentanyl pills in their laps.
Deputy Bitzer moved to the driver’s side and observed a small black fanny pack, a lighter, a cellphone, and a long strip of tin foil with approximately 5-7 blue pills of suspected fentanyl, commonly known as “mexis or blues”.
Deputy Bitzer knocked on the driver’s side window, and Wright and Moss woke up. When asked what they were doing, Wright said they were eating food. It was explained Deputies had been standing by the vehicle assessing the situation for a few minutes as the pair slept, but Wright did not reply.
Wright was asked to turn the vehicle off and step out. As he did, a prescription pill bottle was noticed in the driver’s side door pocket beside a small white oval-shaped pill. A second script bottle was observed sitting in the center console, and Wright was detained.
Deputy C. Hayter checked Moss’ information and learned she had confirmed misdemeanor warrants (physical control-no bail and criminal trespass 1st Degree-bail $250) for her arrest, and she was taken into custody. Moss was advised of her rights, and she declined to answer questions.
Inside the vehicle, Deputies noticed a small black backpack on the front passenger’s side floorboard that appeared to contain a gallon-sized, zip-lock plastic bag with more suspected fentanyl pills inside. A small wad of cash was sitting on the floor next to the bag.
During this contact, Deputy Giese advised he had contacted Wright and Moss, slumped over in a vehicle, and stopped in a drive-thru a couple of months earlier (December 24, 2022). At that time, Wright and Moss also had warrants for their arrest. A bag containing digital scales with a white residue, $4,175 in cash, a clear zip-lock bag with approximately 16.70 grams of suspected methamphetamine, a clear zip-lock bag with approximately 3 grams of suspected fentanyl, and other drug paraphernalia were located and seized.
Continuing with the investigation in the parking lot on Pines Road, Deputies advised Wright of his rights, and he declined to answer questions.
Without a search warrant to enter the Audi, Wright was not arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance (personal use) per Washington RCW. He was provided an information pamphlet regarding addiction treatment services and released at the scene.
On March 13, 2023, at approximately 2:20 pm, Deputy Biter, Sergeant J. Karnitz, and SVIU Detectives served a valid search warrant for the Audi. During the search, over 11,000+ suspected fentanyl pills, digital scales, methamphetamine, 11 amphetamine/dextroamphetamine pills, Clonazepam, two containers with suspected fentanyl and heroin, a baggie of suspected heroin, $1,143 in cash, and several other items were seized. Field tests showed presumptive positive results for heroin and methamphetamine.
On March 15, 2023, Wright and Moss arrived at the Spokane Valley Precinct to pick up their property and car. Instead, both were arrested and booked into the Spokane County Jail, each charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver-Methamphetamine, Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver-Heroin, and Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver-Synthetic Heroin (Fentanyl).
SVIU Detectives also advised them that the Audi and the $1,143 in cash were seized pending a forfeiture hearing.