Fentanyl-laced pills — made to look like prescription oxycodone — were seized by law enforcement during a 2021 investigation into drug trafficking in Snohomish County. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

Fentanyl-laced pills — made to look like prescription oxycodone — were seized by law enforcement during a 2021 investigation into drug trafficking in Snohomish County. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

Everett man charged after allegedly selling fentanyl to undercover cop

Dane Britton has over 10 felony convictions. Now he faces drug trafficking and firearm charges in U.S. District Court.

EVERETT — Last year, an Everett man allegedly made a sale: 998 pills for $3,500.

However, the man was making the deal with an undercover agent from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to court documents. A couple weeks after the transaction, 28 of the pills were tested at a lab in California.

They reportedly contained fentanyl.

The suspect, Dane Britton, was indicted Friday in federal court in Seattle on half-a-dozen counts of drug trafficking and firearm charges. Britton, 53, has been arrested over 60 times and has over 10 felony convictions dating back to 1993 in King, Snohomish and Benton counties, according to court records.

Fentanyl — a highly potent synthetic opioid that can be up to 100 times stronger than morphine — has wreaked havoc in Snohomish County and across the nation in recent years. Of 251 fatal overdoses reported among county residents in 2019, 71 were from fentanyl, according to the county medical examiner’s office. Of 303 in 2020, fentanyl caused 124. Of just over 350 last year, 157 were from the drug. In one month late last year, 18 residents died from fentanyl overdoses.

So far this year, 88 people have died from overdoses in the county. Fentanyl was found to play a role in 38 of those.

Residents have been charged with felonies after selling to people who ended up overdosing. Others from Snohomish County have gotten many years in prison on federal charges.

The investigation into Britton began a couple months earlier when an informant told federal agents that Britton was selling drugs and guns, according to the federal charges. Britton had told the informant either he or an associate went to California every Tuesday to “re-up.” Someone who lives close to Britton told investigators that U-Haul trucks could be seen at Britton’s home in Everett at all hours. The moving trucks didn’t contain furniture, just large bags, the neighbor reported.

An informant told agents that Britton also sold guns, including assault rifles, according to the charges.

In March, months after the fentanyl deal, the undercover agent and Britton talked on the phone. Britton told the agent he had “the usual,” according to court papers.

“I got the blueberries, baby blueberries,” he reportedly said, referring to blue oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl.

Equipped with a recording device, the agent met with Britton on March 16 at the suspect’s Everett home. Britton told him he could sell a pound of methamphetamine for $1,500, a kilogram of heroin for $16,000 and $1.80 per fentanyl pill, according to the charges. The defendant reportedly said he could get 10,000 to 15,000 fentanyl pills at a time.

Later that day, they went to Britton’s storage unit on Fourth Avenue in Everett. Britton handed the agent a handgun, but said he wouldn’t sell it, according to court documents. He said he’d “need this one.”

Britton reportedly ended up selling three guns to the undercover agent for $3,800, including an automatic Smith & Wesson rifle and another semiautomatic rifle.

The suspect’s arraignment in U.S. District Court in Seattle is set for Thursday.

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

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