Dog sniffs out drugs headed to Everett

EVERETT — The package didn’t pass the sniff test.

It arrived at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Oct. 3 on its way from Mexico to Everett.

A drug-detecting dog with U.S. Customs and Border Protection alerted officers that the box was suspicious.

Agents X-rayed the parcel, which was addressed to a woman living in an apartment in the 11000 block of Highway 99 south of Everett. It contained a nearly two-pound bottle of what was labeled as liquid cleaner.

A field test showed it was Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid, or GHB, better known as a recreational and a date-rape drug. GHB is a central nervous system depressant that can cause hallucinations.

The drug often is associated with spiked drinks and sexual assault. Investigators said the average dose of GHB ranges from one to five grams. The bottle contained 872 grams — “a larger quantity than personal use,” a Snohomish Regional Drug Gang Task Force officer wrote in a search warrant.

The package ultimately was delivered to the Highway 99 address, but not before the Department of Homeland Security, the state Department of Licensing, a U.S. postal inspector and the regional drug task force were consulted.

The name listed as the sender of the package was a former Snohomish County man who is a citizen of Mexico and once had been arrested for illegal entry into the United States. His name was linked to the apartment through state licensing records.

The woman who was sent the package, 30, is a former associate of the man. She was arrested and booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of violating state drug laws. That happened Oct. 16, the day she received the package.

Officers seized the drug, cellphones, the packaging, DVDs that were in the parcel and a money transfer receipt.

Snohomish County sheriff’s Lt. Doug Jeske, a drug task force detective, said it’s not clear what the woman intended to do with the package, but the amount of GHB raises suspicion that it would be sold for profit.

“We don’t run into this very often,” he said. “We get a lot of Ecstasy, but the date-rape drug we don’t see very often.”

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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