The building at 307 Olympic Avenue, seen on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, is home to the office of Omni-Mana Services in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

The building at 307 Olympic Avenue, seen on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, is home to the office of Omni-Mana Services in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Arlington pastor sentenced to prison for drug trafficking

Steve Parker, 58, of Arlington, admitted guilt in Skagit County. Investigators believe he continued to run a drug ring from behind bars.

ARLINGTON — The Rev. Steve Parker was in jail when he told his associates to help his girlfriend deliver the pizzas, according to phone recordings recounted in court documents.

He reportedly talked about getting a good price, telling them his girlfriend would deliver for $3 instead of $6 or $7.

As it turned out, “pizza” was a code to discuss his multi-county drug trafficking business, investigators determined.

Parker, 58, of Arlington, pleaded guilty last month to eight felony charges in Skagit County Superior Court: four for possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, one for conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, one for money laundering, one for maintaining a vehicle or building for drug trafficking, and another for possession of a stolen firearm.

Judge Thomas Verge sentenced Parker this month to 4½ years in prison.

Parker was known in Arlington for helping those with substance abuse issues. What most people didn’t know is that he supplied his clients with the very drugs they were struggling to recover from across Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties, prosecutors alleged.

His family was unaware of his secret life, Parker reportedly told investigators.

Parker listed himself as an officer of Nest Ministries, a religious organization at 307 N. Olympic Ave., according to the charges. A reporter’s phone call to the ministry went to voicemail Wednesday.

State filings list “Rev Steve Parker” as the head of Omni-Mana, a service that “helps people who have had substance abuse or mental health issues fine employment.” Google lists the organization as temporarily closed.

In January, police arrested Parker in Mount Vernon while he was driving his 2002 Subaru. Investigators found 2 ounces of fentanyl, 2.7 pounds of methamphetamine, 2,000 counterfeit fentanyl pills and a handgun, charging papers say.

In an interview with investigators, Parker acknowledged resupplying his drugs three or four times a week from multiple suppliers. Text messages revealed he was also selling guns, according to court documents.

Primarily residing between Arlington and Darrington with his wife and mother-in-law, Parker conducted his drug business in a second home in Tulalip with a girlfriend, charges said. Jail calls between the two suggested the girlfriend continued delivering and selling drugs while he was behind bars, according to court documents.

Jail calls also revealed Parker let his clients live in the Tulalip house if they paid his girlfriend 50 “little friends” a week, meaning drugs, so she can “stay stable,” the charges say.

In his two houses, investigators found 30 guns, according to charging papers.

Drug dealing was a main source of income. He bragged to investigators that he was “good at business,” charges say. The money allowed him to purchase “high value” cars, like his 2011 Mercedes, registered under other people’s names.

Parker acknowledged knowing the dangers of fentanyl, telling investigators of a time he used Narcan to help someone overdosing. The counterfeit fentanyl pills he sold, masquerading to look like Oxycodone, have been linked to “numerous overdoses within Skagit County and have been a direct cause of several deaths,” prosecutors wrote.

Parker’s defense attorney Adam Yanasak could not be reached for comment this week.

Maya Tizon: 425-339-3434; maya.tizon@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @mayatizon.

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